Arab League to join Quartet representatives for meeting at the UN for new talks on how to bring Israel and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host a ministerial meeting of key global players trying to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Sept. 30 during the annual high-level session of the General Assembly, the United Nations announced Friday.
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that in addition to foreign ministers from the Quartet of Mideast mediators – the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia – the secretary-general is inviting the Arab League secretary-general and the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to join the meeting.
We hope that this re-start of the process can lead to improvements on the ground and also to re-open prospective and political horizons to the talks,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
Mogherini sees a chance for EU diplomacy in the absence of a new push from Washington as US President Barack Obama approaches the end of his final term.
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled since the United States failed to broker a peace agreement in early 2014. The Quartet was sidelined by the US-led efforts, but their failure opened the possibility of a broader international effort to tackle the conflict.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to address the General Assembly on Sept. 30, the same day Ban will host the ministerial meeting.
Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Thursday he hopes Abbas will be able to raise the Palestinian flag outside UN headquarters for the first time that day. He said this could “keep hope alive” among Palestinians at a time when “the political process is dead.”
The 193-member General Assembly is scheduled to vote Sept. 10 on a resolution, opposed by Israel, that would allow non-member observer states – Palestine and the Holy See – to raise their flags. Mansour said he expects “an overwhelming majority” of states to support it.