UNITED NATIONS, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations and international mediators were in contact with Israelis and the Palestinians, urging them to manage current developments responsibly and act with restraint so as to push through their peace talks, a UN spokesperson said Friday.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General, said that it is hoped that a way can be found to see negotiations through within the scheduled nine-month timeframe for the peace talks.
Israel refused to release the final batch of Palestinian prisoners last Saturday unless the Palestinians agree to extend the ongoing peace talk which is set to end on April 29. As a countermeasure, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters to join 15 international conventions and treaties earlier this week.
"The goal remains to arrive at a substantive basis for negotiations toward a comprehensive peace agreement on all final status issues," Haq said at a regular briefing when asked about the efforts of UN and the so-called quartet, namely the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia.
Haq said that it is important that the Palestinians and Israelis "apply their best efforts, in the period ahead, to create a climate of trust and an environment as conducive as possible to the continuation of negotiations."
The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in 2012 to raise Palestine's status to a non-member observer state. After that, Palestine becomes eligible to sign 63 international treaties, conventions and protocols and become members of international institutions.
When peace talks resumed last July, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian long-time prisoners in four stages in exchange for a pause in Palestine's drive to join international organizations.