UN chief sees `hope’ for Israel-Palestinian peace progress

UN chief sees `hope’ for Israel-Palestinian peace progress

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said "there are reasons to hope" for progress toward ending the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict after years of inaction.

He 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."

"We have tried for a long time to make the Quartet meet, but we never had the agreement of all the members for that to be possible," Guterres told a press conference.

"And we have tried to have inclusive other formulas - possible of an enlarged Quartet with several other important players in the region, and unfortunately, this has not been possible until now," The AP cited him as saying.

"I think it became possible now," he said, but stressed that a peace process can only be successful if it is based on a two-state solution and "all the international agreements that already exist in this regard."

Guterres expressed hope that elections "in the state of Palestine" and elections in Israel "will also contribute to create a positive environment for the future of the peace process … and for the rights of the Palestinian people, namely, its right to self determination and its right to independence, to be fully respected."

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