On a tour of the Middle East, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon weighed in on the renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He urged both sides to be patient for peace to succeed and reiterated the UN’s support in finding a two-state solution.
The first round of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on Wednesday lasted around five hours. The only information that escaped the media blackout was news that the negotiators would meet again weekly. However both sides remained cautious about breakthroughs.
On Wednesday, Israel freed 26 Palestinian prisoners out of a total of 104 to be released in a bid to bolster the talks.
However, the peace process broke down just three years ago over the thorny issue of settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and Israel just announced plans to build around 2,000 new homes on the disputed territories.