Resumption of Israeli Palestinian direct talks crucial says UN chief

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Question of Palestine

It is crucial for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume direct talks aimed at reaching an agreement for a two-State solution.

That's the message UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent to the UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine, held in Geneva on Tuesday.

Mr. Ban said that obstacles have again prevented Israelis and Palestinians from finding what he calls "sufficient common ground" to continue discussions.

He said numerous topics that require urgent attention include the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention.

Martin Nesirky is Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

"The Secretary-General said he had repeatedly expressed concern about this, including during his visit to the occupied Palestinian territory in February. Political momentum between Israelis and Palestinians in the months ahead is essential. Its absence only makes each day more uncertain. And he said that a viable Palestinian State living side-by-side in peace with a secure Israel is long overdue. And it is crucial that Israeli and Palestinian leaders resume direct talks aimed at reaching an agreement for a two-State solution, as called for by the Quartet."

Duration: 29"

The Secretary-General's message was read at the Geneva meeting by Maxwell Gayland, the Deputy United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

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