UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says “there are reasons to hope” for progress toward ending the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict after years of inaction.
The Secretary-General said the United Nations will explore all initiatives to facilitate “a true peace process” based on the two-state solution.
Clearly referring to the former U.S. administration without naming then President Donald Trump, the U.N. chief said “we were completely locked down in a situation in which there was no progress visible.”
Guterres also made no mention of Tuesday’s announcement by U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration that it was restoring relations with the Palestinians and renewing aid to Palestinian refugees, a reversal of Trump’s cutoff and a key element of its new support for a two-state solution.
But the secretary-general made clear that Biden’s more even-handed approach opened the possibility of meetings of the Quartet of Middle East mediators — the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia — that were previously blocked as well as broader peace efforts.
The Quartet, set up in 2002, consists of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. Its mandate is to help mediate Middle East peace negotiations and to support Palestinian economic development and institution-building in preparation for eventual statehood. It meets regularly at the level of the Quartet Principals (United Nations Secretary General, United States Secretary of State, Foreign Minister of Russia, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Quartet Special Envoys.