Settlement activity a major obstacle to two-State solution: Ban

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The status quo is unsustainable, and unacceptable, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday in remarks at the opening of the 2013 session of the Palestinian rights committee.

He said both parties – Israelis and Palestinians – must live up to their commitment to a negotiated two-State solution consistent with Security Council resolutions and resolve all the core issues, namely territory, security, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, and water.

Secretary-General Ban said "We cannot afford another year without tangible results".

” Each state must uphold commitments to ensure equal civil rights for all its citizens and to respect human rights and human dignity. Jerusalem must emerge through negotiations as the future capital of two states. As provided in the roadmap, there should be an agreed, just, fair and realistic solution to the refugee issue. This is the essence of our vision of the two-State solution. The international community, including our Arab partners, is ready to renew their collective reengagement towards these goals, but it will be meaningless if the parties themselves do not make serious commitments to advance the peace process.”

Secretary-General Ban said he's dismayed by the dramatic increase in Israeli settlement activity. He was also deeply disappointed by the announcement of new construction plans in the "E1" area, and urged the Government of Israel to heed international calls to rescind these plans.

He said settlement activity is a major obstacle to the two-State solution and must cease immediately.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’44″

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