Envoy: UN action can't replace Mideast talks

Created: 12/15/2014 9:52 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N.'s top Mideast envoy is warning that Security Council resolutions addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be a substitute for peace negotiations between the two sides.

But Robert Serry said council action would be "a major step" and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes it will spur renewed talks.

Serry spoke to the council Monday after the Palestinians announced they will push for a council vote this week on a resolution setting a November 2016 deadline for ending Israeli occupation. France is also spearheading negotiations on a resolution that would set the outlines of a peace deal, with a binding time frame.

The United States, Israel's closest ally, has indicated both drafts are unacceptable. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Israeli leaders Monday and Palestinian officials Tuesday.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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