Top diplomats of the Middle East (West Asia) Quartet urged Israel to freeze all settlement activity in East Jerusalem.
Meeting in Moscow on Friday, the Quartet peacemakers also called on both sides to “to refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric”.
At a joint press conference after the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Israelis and Palestinians should move first to indirect talks, followed by face-to-face negotiations.
The meeting was attended by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and the special representative, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Israel denounced the Quartet statement as counterproductive. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in Brussels the statement only made real peace between Israel and the Palestinian a more remote possibility.