The Middle East Quartet issued a statement after the Wednesday talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, reaffirming its commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Quartet “noted that the intensifying threat of terrorism, sectarian extremism and radicalization in the Middle East reinforces the need to pursue a negotiated two-state solution,” the statement said.
The Quartet condemned the recent violence around holy sites in Jerusalem and called on both Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from provocative actions.
“The Quartet expressed its serious concern that current trends on the ground – including continued acts of violence against Palestinians and Israelis, ongoing settlement activity, and the high rate of demolitions of Palestinian structures – are dangerously imperiling the viability of a two-state solution,” the statement said, also stressing “the importance of ensuring that the governance framework of the West Bank and Gaza is integrated under the single legitimate authority that takes control of the border crossings in Gaza.”
Palestinians seek diplomatic and economic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. Israel has been building settlements on the occupied territories, despite objections from the United Nations.
The State of Palestine is currently recognized by 135 of the 193 UN member-states. Palestine has an observer status at the United Nations.
On Wednesday, the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN headquarters in New York.