WASHINGTON, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The Middle East Quartet on Wednesday warned the Palestinians and Israelis not to take any potential provocations, as top leaders from the two sides are expected to meet soon.
The call was made after representatives from the Quartet, namely UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, met in Washington.
The Quartet reiterated its call for the Israelis and the Palestinians to avoid actions that "undermine trust" and focus on positive efforts that can facilitate the resumption of direct negotiations between the two sides, said a statement released by the group.
The Quartet condemned rocket attacks from Gaza and stressed the need for calm and security for both peoples, said the statement.
It expressed concern about "unilateral and provocative actions by either party, including continued settlement activity, which cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations, the only way to a just and durable solution to the conflict."
The Quartet were also concerned about the "increasing fragility " of the situation in the Palestinian territories, calling on all parties to address the Palestinian Authority's fiscal challenges and expand economic opportunities for the Palestinian people.
"In this regard, the Quartet called on the international community to ensure the contribution of $1.1 billion in assistance to meet the Palestinian Authority's 2012 recurrent financing requirements," said the statement.
In September 2010, direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians resumed in Washington under the U.S. brokering. But the negotiations quickly collapsed as Israel refused to renew the moratorium on West Bank settlement construction. In January this year, low level officials from both sides held talks in Jordan, but failed to achieve progress on resuming the direct talks.
Latest reports said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are expected to meet next week for the potentially highest level of talks in a year and a half between the two sides.