Foreign Minister of New Zealand Murray McCully has said that his country will use its leadership role in the United Nations Security Council to push for direct talks between Israel and Palestine in the coming months.
The diplomat, who is bound to take up the Security Council presidency later this week, said in the interview with NZ’s TV3:
“I think what they’re (Israel) really allergic to is the idea that the Security Council might start the process by imposing a whole lot of conditions, conditions in their view that would favor the other side,” McCully said.
“I think they’re less allergic to the notion that the Security Council might try and bring the two parties together, and that’s the sort of thing that we’ve got in mind.”
McCully said he believed the Israelis and Palestinians were close together on most issues, and that direct negotiations are needed in order to reach a final agreement, i24News reports.
McCully, who visited the region in early June, criticized the role of the US in peace talks as “not sufficient,” saying the international community should be more actively involved in the process.
“We need to have the rest of the international community playing its role,” he said.
The relatively good relations between Israel and New Zealand hit a stumbling block last year when Jerusalem was angry that Wellington’s ambassador-designate Jonathan Curr was to serve as ambassador to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority and refused to accredit him.