Baroness Ashton: Quartet should meet 'as soon as possible'

By Jennifer Lipman, January 7, 2011
Baroness Ashton

Baroness Ashton

The European Union’s High Representative has urged the Mideast peace Quartet to meet within the next few weeks in order to encourage progress on stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Baroness Ashton said: "I propose the Quartet meet as soon as possible to help find a solution to the current impasse.”

She suggested that a meeting should take place around the Munich Security Conference at the beginning of next month.

The foreign policy chief made the comments following a meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

She said they had discussed “latest developments” and that she had called on him and his Israeli counterparts to find "a satisfactory way to engage without delay in substantive negotiations on all final status issues."

Baroness Ashton’s statement comes almost five months after the US announced the resumption of direct peace talks and as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the Egyptian president to help persuade the Palestinians to continue "direct, intensive and serious" peace negotiations.

Last updated: 10:30am, January 7 2011