The creation of a sovereign Palestinian state is vital for peace and security in the region, UN chief Ban Ki—moon has said.

Marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, Mr. Ban stressed that a state must be created for them on the basis of world body resolutions and the two-state solution.

Israel and the Palestinian authorities needed to resume meaningful dialogue to end the conflict that has panned across four decades leaving a trail of death and destruction on both sides. “It is vital that a sovereign State of Palestine is achieved,” Mr. Ban said.

“This should be on the basis of the 1967 lines with agreed land swaps and a just and agreed solution to the refugee issue - a State that lives side-by-side in peace with Israel within secure and recognised borders,” he added.

The head of the UN expressed concern that peace talks had been stalled for a long time, and underlined that task at hand was to create conditions for parties to come to the table.

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have publicly committed to a two-State solution, formal talks have been suspended for almost a year,” Mr. Ban said.

The biggest challenge to this shared agenda is to create the conditions in which the parties have the trust and confidence to return to genuine and substantive talks, he noted.

In this light, Mr. Ban expressed support for “the clear commitment and efforts of the United States to bring about a resumption of meaningful negotiations on all final status issues, including the security of Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees and Jerusalem.”

The UN Chief also called for an immediate end the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip that is interfering with the supply of basic materials to its inhabitants as well as causing several humanitarian problems for the Palestinians.

“The closure of Gaza should be lifted, consistent with Security Council resolution 1860, to allow for the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and people,” Mr. Ban added.

Emphasising the need to address Israeli security concerns, he added that Palestinians need to “fight violent extremism and refrain from incitement” as well as preventing the smuggling of weapons into Gaza and an end to Palestinian rocket fire at Israeli civilians.

Mr. Ban also asked Israeli authorities to stop evictions and demolition of Palestinian people and property in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since these actions “stoke tensions, cause suffering and further undermine trust.”

The latest UN report reveals the in East Jerusalem alone from January to July 2009 at least 194 persons were forcibly displaced as a result of house demolitions and some neighbourhoods face prospects of mass demolitions.

The Secretary General said that the city of Jerusalem should emerge as the capital of two States, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all.

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