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UN chief asks Israel, Palestine to continue talks

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday urged Israelis and Palestinians to continue proximity talks sponsored by the US.

world Updated: Jun 29, 2010 07:46 IST

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday urged Israelis and Palestinians to continue proximity talks sponsored by the US.

Ban, who returned from attending the G20 summit in Toronto, Canada, told reporters at UN Headquarters that he had discussed with leaders, including those from the European Union, on the situation in the Middle East, Xinhua reported.

"The situation in the Middle East is always the key concern of international community and myself," he said. "We discussed in- depth how to help and encourage continuing proximity talks and how to bring more fundamental changes in Gaza blockade."

"It is at this time important that the proximity talks continue," he stressed.

Noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit the US to meet with President Barack Obama early next month, Ban expressed hope it will provide "a good opportunity for two leaders to discuss more in-depth how to bring peace in the Middle East."

The US sponsors indirect proximity talks between Palestinians and Israelis, which started in May.

The indirect talks are scheduled to last four months, aimed at bridging the gap between the two parties and confidence building to head for direct negotiations.

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