The UN Secretary-General has called on the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, to resume negotiations with Israel, saying that talks are not incompatible with reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Ban Ki-Moon said that the decisive moment for the peace process in the region has arrived.
Speaking to the UN Security Council about his recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Mr. Ban said: "It is necessary for the Palestinians and Israelis to continue their talks and make constructive proposals on land, security and confidence-building between the two sides."
Ban added that he spoke with President Abbas after the reconciliation agreement with the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal had been signed. "[The agreement] is to form a new government; a technocrat's government working under the Palestinian Authority leadership. I believe that the Palestinian reconciliation and the negotiations with Israel are not incompatible."
The Secretary-General called on both President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "push the negotiations forward, and show signs of good faith to achieve positive steps on the ground."