UNITED NATIONS : UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to resume negotiations in the Middle East peace process. “The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement by US Secretary of State Kerry today in Amman, Jordan, that the basis has been established to resume talks between Israelis and Palestinians,” the secretary-general spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

The UN chief added that he was encouraged by “this positive development” and called on both sides to show leadership, courage, and responsibility to sustain this effort towards achieving the two-State vision. He noted that the UN will continue to support any endeavor towards meaningful negotiations and to the achievement of a comprehensive peace in the region.

Direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians stalled in September 2010, after Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity.

 in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Addressing the Security Council in April, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, urged the international community to maintain its commitment to advancing the prospects for resuming direct talks between the two sides.

At that time, he said that he was encouraged by the renewed US effort and Kerry’s sustained personal engagement. He also stressed the importance for the parties to create the conditions conducive to a resumption of meaningful negotiations and avoid actions that would risk undermining such prospects.