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New Zealand wants UN push for Israeli-Palestinian talks

April 22, 2015

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — New Zealand said Tuesday it has been working on a U.N. resolution aimed at restarting stalled negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Two decades of talks brokered mainly by the United States have failed to produce a two-state solution. The latest effort to get a peace deal, led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, fell short in April 2014 after nine months of tense negotiations and the gaps between Israeli and Palestinian positions remain vast.

New Zealand’s U.N. Ambassador Jim McLay told the Security Council it’s time for the U.N.’s most powerful body “to use its moral and legal authority” to spur “productive negotiations.”

New Zealand, which is currently serving a two-year term on the council, has been working on the text of a resolution to try to inject “new momentum” into negotiations, he said.

McLay said France is also working with others on a resolution setting out the parameters of a peace deal, and if it has a chance of succeeding “New Zealand stands ready to engage and be helpful.”

He said New Zealand will wait to see how the French-led effort plays out, and will be prepared to step in if it doesn’t.

The Security Council has been stymied in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian issue because the United States, Israel’s closest ally, has used its veto on resolutions it views as unbalanced.

McLay acknowledged it will be difficult to get the nine minimum votes with no veto in favor of a resolution in the 15-member council.

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