The Palestinian U.N. envoy said Israelis and Palestinians are at “a turning point” in resolving their decades-long conflict. Israel’s U.N. Ambassador said his country is willing to take risks for peace.
But the two diplomats, speaking at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Tuesday, laid out very different visions. Their contrasting versions signalled a tough road ahead following U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement Friday night that progress has been made toward a resumption of long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Palestinian observer Riyad Mansour said a two-state solution “is irreconcilable” with Israeli settlement construction. He reiterated the Palestinians’ longstanding position that a solution must be based on pre-1967 war borders with Jerusalem as a shared capital. He said there must also be “a just, agreed solution for the Palestinian refugee question”.
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor said Israel is willing to take risks to end the conflict. He reiterated his country’s vision of “two states for two peoples one Arab and one Jewish living side-by-side in peace and security”. The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War.
Mr. Abbas has sought a commitment from Mr. Netanyahu that Israel’s pre-1967 border will serve as a baseline for negotiations. Israel has been insisting that that peace talks resume without preconditions. Mr. Mansour told the council that Palestinian leaders have never placed conditions but have called for international law and U.N. resolutions to be respected. — AP
‘Continuing settlement activity would not be conducive to creating a favourable environment for negotiations’