UN chief: Israel committed to two-state solution
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday voiced hope that Israel's new right-wing government would continue to work on establishing an independent Palestinian state. Ban "welcomes the formation of a new government in Israel and looks forward to working with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the full range of peace and security issues," a statement issued by his spokeswoman Michele Montas said.
"This includes the resumption of the Middle East peace process, with the aim of achieving an independent and viable Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace with a secure Israel, and a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace," Ban stated.
Earlier on Wednesday Israel's new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, angered Palestinians by saying Israel was not bound by a U.S.-sponsored declaration signed in 2007 in Annapolis, Maryland, that it would open negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state. Montas said the point of Ban's statement was to "underline the commitments made by Israel."