Quartet on the Middle East briefed on progress in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

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John Kerry , United States Secretary of State

United States Secretary of State John Kerry has briefed Representatives of the Quartet on the Middle East on the progress in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The Quartet, made up the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States received a joint briefing on the negotiations by the Israeli and Palestinian chief negotiators.

The Quartet reaffirmed its determination to lend effective support to the efforts of the parties and their shared commitment to reach a permanent status agreement within the agreed goal of nine months. In this regard, the Quartet recalled its previous statements and relevant UN Security Council resolutions and reaffirmed its determination to actively support the pursuit of a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The Quartet commended the leadership of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and their commitment to remaining engaged in sustained and continuous negotiations to address all of the core issues. The Quartet called on all parties to take every possible step to promote conditions conducive to the success of the negotiating process and to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues.

The Quartet reviewed the situation in Gaza and underscored the importance of addressing the humanitarian situation and including Gaza in the efforts to support the Palestinian economy. The Quartet discussed the humanitarian needs of Gaza's residents and emphasized the importance of increased access into Gaza through legal crossings, welcoming recent steps taken by Israel in this regard and urges the parties to maintain the cease-fire reached on 21 November, 2012.

The Quartet noted the importance of both sides demonstrating a commitment to improving the atmosphere for the negotiations, including through positive messages by the leaders.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’39″

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