On the sidelines of the Group of Eight foreign ministers' summit, the Middle East Quartet on Saturday asked Israel to freeze all its settlement activity and expressed hope for the early resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, Xinhua reported.
The Quartet, which comprises the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, urged the government of Israel to stop expanding all settlements, including those so- called "natural growth."
The Quartet also called on Israel to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001 and to cease its provocative actions in East Jerusalem.
The United States briefed the Quartet on its discussion with all parties in the region to promote the resumption and early conclusion of negotiations. The Quartet affirmed that the negotiations must have results for all claims.
The Quartet believed that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that ends Israel's occupation that began in 1967 and fulfills the aspirations of both parties for independent homelands in which people could live in peace and security.
The Quartet welcomed the commitment of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas to the two-state solution. The two-day Group of Eight foreign ministers' summit ended in Trieste, Italy on Saturday.