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May 24, 2013 12:43 pm

UN Diplomat: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Not Less Important than Syria Carnage

avatar by Zach Pontz

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UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process Robert Serry addresses the UN Security Council. Photo: UN.

A senior United Nations diplomat told the international community Tuesday that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not less important than the current humanitarian crisis raging in Syria.

Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, warned the UN Security Council that while the situation in Syria was grave it would be “dangerous” to overlook the Palestinian-Israeli situation.

“Ending the conflict in Syria is a matter of great urgency and must be the top priority of the international community. At the same time, it would be mistaken, and dangerous, to assume that a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is less important,” Serry told the UN Security Council.

Anne Bayefsky, a fellow at the Hudson Institute and Editor of the Eye on the UN blog criticized the statement saying that it was a distraction effort.

#UN official desperate to manufacture sense of crisis on #Israel-Palestinian front to divert attention from #Syria,” Beyefsky tweeted.

Serry also said that there are serious and determined quiet diplomatic efforts to break the political deadlock and bring Israelis and  the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table.

He added that the renewed effort by the United States and sustained personal engagement of the US Secretary of State John Kerry in these efforts is cause for encouragement.

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