Envoy: UN action can't replace Mideast talks

Updated at: 12/15/2014 9:52 AM
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(AP) UNITED NATIONS - UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N.'s top Mideast envoy is warning that Security Council resolutions addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be a substitute for peace negotiations between the two sides.

But Robert Serry said council action would be "a major step" and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes it will spur renewed talks.

Serry spoke to the council Monday after the Palestinians announced they will push for a council vote this week on a resolution setting a November 2016 deadline for ending Israeli occupation. France is also spearheading negotiations on a resolution that would set the outlines of a peace deal, with a binding time frame.

The United States, Israel's closest ally, has indicated both drafts are unacceptable. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Israeli leaders Monday and Palestinian officials Tuesday.

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