UN envoy: Two-state solution is ‘slipping away’

The UN's envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, warned on Sunday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “slipping away”, Reuters reported.

His comments came following the Quartet report released on Friday which called on Israel to stop its construction in Judea and Samaria, but also criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its incitement to terrorism against Israelis.

The Middle East Quartet is made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.

"The Quartet report sounds an alarm bell that we are on a dangerous slope towards a one-state reality that is incompatible with the national aspirations of both peoples," Mladenov wrote in a commentary emailed to journalists on Sunday and quoted by Reuters.

He also addressed Palestinian and Israeli criticism of the Quartet report, saying, "Who will make the argument that more cannot be done to end incitement? Can anyone question that illegal settlements … are not undermining the prospect for a two-state solution?"

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reacted to the report on Friday by rejecting its equating between PA incitement to terrorism and Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, though he did welcome its recognition of the dangers of PA incitement.

A spokesman for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas expressed disappointment that the Quartet did not call for full Israeli withdrawal to lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War.

Mladenov appealed to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to implement the report's recommendations, offering the help of the international community to do so.

"I urge leaders on both sides not to miss this opportunity," he wrote, according to Reuters.

The Quartet report came amid continued international efforts to revive the stalled Israeli-PA peace process.

France is at the forefront of these efforts, having on June 3 hosted a summit in Paris in which foreign ministers discussed ways that the international community could "help advance the prospects for peace, including by providing meaningful incentives to the parties to make peace."

Israel rejects the initiative and insists that the only way to achieve peace is by direct negotiations with the PA.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214451

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