UNITED NATIONS, May 1 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Thursday urged both Israelis and Palestinians to exercise prudence and avoid unilateral steps that would "diminish the prospects" for the resumption of negotiations.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ban said, "It is incumbent upon the parties to convince each other anew that they are partners for peace. The international community too must uphold its long-stated commitment to realizing a comprehensive peace settlement."
Appealing to all concerned to use this time constructively to find a meaningful path forward, Ban urged both sides to "exercise prudence and avoid unilateral steps that would diminish the prospects for a resumption of negotiations and reach an agreement. "
The UN chief noted, as reflected in the Security Council debate held Tuesday, that now is the time for the international community and the parties alike to reflect on how to preserve the prospects for a two-state solution.
The statement came two days after a day-long debate of the Security Council in which member states urged both parties to resume talks.
Amid efforts to extend the negotiations beyond the April 29 deadline, Israel suspended the talks last week after the Palestinian Fatah faction signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas. Israel sees Hamas as a terrorist organization that calls for Israel's annihilation.
The two sides resumed negotiations last July following efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, after a three-year halt in official diplomatic contacts.