Failed Middle East peace talks disappoint SA – Jacob Zuma

2013-11-29 17:43

South Africa is disappointed at the failure of the latest round of Middle East peace talks, President Jacob Zuma has said.

“It is with much concern that South Africa today joins pleas from the international community for Israel to freeze all settlement activity in order to give the current negotiations a fair chance for success,” he said in a message on the United Nations’ International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The government called on Israel to realise peace by creating an environment conducive to a two-state solution, in which Israel peacefully co-existed with a viable and fully independent Palestinian state within internationally recognised borders.

Zuma said South Africa believed comprehensive and unconditional negotiations were the only way to bring about genuine and lasting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

These talks had to deal with the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories of Palestine and the continuing occupation of the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese territories.

This would contribute to peace and security throughout the Middle East.

“Today, our attention is focused on the great importance of making progress, not only with negotiations towards the conclusion of the Middle East peace process, but also on the fact that the current state of affairs are leaving deep scars on the psyche of ordinary citizens living daily in circumstances which leave much to be desired,” said Zuma.

South Africa supported all international efforts aimed at brokering a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“In doing so, South Africa has voiced its support at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the African Union, and Brics [the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa grouping] to request for all parties to the conflict to negotiate in good faith in order to reach a permanent and just solution,” he said.

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