UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged Israel to extend its partial settlement freeze, as Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have resumed talks.
The UN chief made the remarks on Thursday during his meeting with US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, about the first round of talks, UN News Center reported.
The negotiations were held between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas in Washington on September 2.
The Israeli premier in November announced a 10-month freeze on illegal settlement expansion projects in the occupied West Bank, but Israel repeatedly violated the freeze — which expires on September 26 — by continuing to construct more settlement units in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Following the first meeting, Abbas said that he would leave the negotiations should Israel resume its illegal settlement activities.
Meanwhile, the Middle East Peace Quartet is expected to convene in New York later this month to assess the talks.
Ban said the Quartet — compromising the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States — will meet to review the Middle East process.
He added that he would also meet with Netanyahu and Abbas during the annual UN General Assembly opening on September 20.