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Speaking upon the release of the Middle East Quartet Report, Mogherini said it marked the first time in over a decade that the international community had set out what needs to be done to recreate the conditions for meaningful final status negotiations.
“In times of multiple crises, we tend to focus on the most recent one. But particularly in times like these, we cannot lose sight of the conflict in Israel and Palestine,” Mogherini said. “We need to shake life back into the peace process, and do it as a matter of urgency. Violence is on the rise every single day, with victims of both sides. We risk a new escalation, and the very chance of peace is slipping away. We cannot afford it.”
The report was published today by the Quartet, comprising the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia. Since coming into office in November 2014, the High Representative has invested heavily in supporting peace in the Middle East.
The report calls on the parties to de-escalate tensions and strengthen security cooperation, for the Israeli policy of settlement construction and expansion to come to an end and for the Palestinians to combat terrorism and refrain from all incitement to violence.
It urges both sides to move towards a two-State solution on the ground, empowering the Palestinians to take full control of their lives, including in Area C, and taking into account the Israelis’ legitimate security concerns.
“Only the two sides can take responsibility for peace. The international community cannot substitute the parties. Only direct negotiations can lead to peace. But we need the political leaders to show their commitment, and implement the recommendations of the Report in full,” Mogherini said.
“At the same time, regional players have a key role to play. The Arab Peace Initiative offers a vision for a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In times of regional turmoil, some new opportunities for peace have also raised. No one can afford to miss these opportunities,” she concluded.