Ban: Door may be closing for Mideast peace


Wednesday 26 September 2012

NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday the “door may be closing, for good” on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the continued growth of Jewish settlements undercuts peace.
“The two-state solution is the only sustainable option. Yet the door may be closing, for good,” Ban told the UN General Assembly.

“The continued growth of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory seriously undermines efforts toward peace. We must break this dangerous impasse.”

In an apparent reference to recent comments by Israeli, Iranian and US officials, Ban also told the 193-nation assembly at the opening of its annual gathering of world leaders that he rejected threats of military action by one state against another.

While he did not specify which countries he was talking about, after criticizing Israeli settlement building, Ban told the assembly: “I also reject both the language of delegitimization and threats of potential military action by one state against another. Any such attacks would be devastating.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said yesterday that President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to resume peace talks with Israel if the Jewish state agrees to freeze settlements.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi at the United Nations during a meeting at the General Assembly in New York City on Tuesday. (AFP)

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