Image of United Nations envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov

A senior UN official has warned Israel against destroying further prospects for peace in the Middle East, in comments made yesterday.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council, Nickolay Mladenov, the UN envoy for the Middle East, said that “calls have been made for the annexation of parts of or the whole of Area C [60 per cent of the West Bank under Israeli control]; such divisive positions risk destroying the prospects for peace.”

During the first meeting held following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned the construction of settlements by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories as a “flagrant violation under international law,” Mladenov stressed that Israel and the Palestinians “must avoid any unilateral action that would prejudge a negotiated final status solution.”

The comments by Mladenov were sparked by several high ranking Israeli ministers calling for the annexation of Palestinian lands.

Among other issues raised in his briefing, Mladenov noted that for the first time in two decades preparations were underway for a regular session of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), which is the Palestinian parliament.

According to the UN’s news centre, Mladenov encouraged all factions to work towards genuine reconciliation.

Mladenov’s briefing followed an international conference this past weekend in Paris, France, where participants reaffirmed their collective support for a two-state solution and readiness to support both parties in returning to meaningful negotiations.