UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, has called for Israelis and Palestinians to seize the current chance at peace represented by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry. “This may well be the last chance for the two-state solution”, he said.
In a video message to the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Ban insisted on the necessity of sorting out Palestinian-Israeli issue, and warned of the failure of the on-going US led efforts. “We all need to support Secretary of State Kerry’s courageous initiative,” he said.
Ban frankly asserted that any solution to the issue has to maintain Israel’s peaceful existence and security. He said: “I have been, and will remain, outspoken in my insistence that Israel has a right to live in peace and security.”
Meanwhile, he said that an end to the long-standing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories must be brought to an end soon. “The occupation, now nearing half a century long, is unacceptable morally, politically, strategically – humanly,” he said. “I know many of you fully recognize that no interests are truly served by maintaining the status quo.”
Regarding the role of the UN in achieving peace, he said: “The United Nations will do all it can to help resume a meaningful peace process. But Israel needs to stop settlement activity and take concrete action to end the occupation.”
He warned that the peace process had reached a critical situation and insisted that there is no room to step back. “We are approaching a point of no return in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said.
Commenting on the Syrian conflict, Ban said that dialogue is the only viable solution for it. “A political solution is the only path to a new Syria that fulfils people’s aspirations for freedom, dignity and justice,” he said.
He also expressed his fears that instability is invading the region and said he was worried about the shootouts in the Golan Heights. He said: “Regional stability is at risk. For the first time in decades, there has been firing across the Golan disengagement lines.”