Peace quartet asks Israel and Palestine to get serious about negotiations
Top officials from the U.S., Russia, European Union and the United Nations have called on the Israelis and Palestinians to demonstrate their seriousness in reaching a settlement by next year.
The Associated Press reports that the quartet has called on the two parties to refrain from any actions that would undermine trust, and stressed the importance of leaders from both parties issue positive messages.
U.N. peace mediator Tony Blair said that a report on an economic initiative accompanying the peace talks was discussed on Friday.
“We have to make sure that we start to get the changes within the Palestinian economy which are not just about private-sector investment but are about easing restrictions, about Palestinian capacity, so that the economy isn't simply going in very small steps forward but is moving forward fast,” Blair told The Associated Press in an interview following the meeting.
Blair said he believes the donors will come through with their pledges to plug the approximately $350 million budget gap that is being experienced by the Palestinian Authority.