Middle East

In quotes: UN General Assembly Palestinian bid reaction

World leaders are meeting at the UN General Assembly in New York, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to request full UN membership this week. Below are quotes from a number of leaders on the issue.

US President Barack Obama

I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades.

Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations - if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.

Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians - not us - who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

In the Middle East, we must break the stalemate. We have long agreed that Palestinians deserve a State. Israel needs security. Both want peace.

We pledge our unrelenting efforts to help achieve that peace through a negotiated settlement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Palestinians and Israelis should sit down together and negotiate an agreement of mutual recognition and security. I think this is the only way to get to a stable, endurable peace.

But you [US President Barack Obama] have also made it clear that the Palestinians deserve a state but it's a state that has to make that peace with Israel and therefore their attempt to shortcut this process, not negotiate a peace, that attempt to get state membership of the United Nations will not succeed.

Standing your ground, taking this position of principle, which is also I think the right position to achieve peace, I think this is a badge of honour.

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi

You would think that the Palestinians are occupying Israel.

[Principles of freedom and self-determination] apply to every Arab individual, but when it comes to Palestinians suffering from an oppressive foreign military occupation, somehow ... these principles do not apply. They only apply when Arabs rebel against their own oppressive regime.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Let us cease our endless debates on the parameters and let us being negotiations and adopt a precise and ambitious timetable. Sixty years without moving one centimetre forward, doesn't that suggest that we should change the method and the scheduling here?

Let's have one month to resume discussions, six months to find agreement on borders and security, one year to reach a definitive agreement.

King Abdullah of Jordan

We seek a new and vigorous international push, with concrete steps toward the end game. Not words, not process. But a decisive end to conflict, and a new beginning in peace...

We are today at a dangerous impasse. The opportunities of a year ago to move talks forward toward a clear-cut end game - failed to gain momentum. Negotiations have come to a halt. Frustrations are at a peak...

We will continue to strongly support the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to statehood in fulfilment of their aspirations and in accordance with UN resolutions.