Netanyahu and Abbas
Netanyahu and AbbasFlash 90

The four members of the so-called Middle East Quartet on Tuesday discussed the resumption of "meaningful negotiations" to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.

The body, which comprises the US, Russia, the EU and the UN, met virtually on Tuesday, said a UN statement quoted by AFP.

"The Envoys... met virtually to discuss returning to meaningful negotiations that will lead to a two-state solution, including tangible steps to advance freedom, security and prosperity for Palestinians and Israelis, which is important in its own right," it said.

They discussed "the need for the parties to refrain from unilateral actions that make a two-state solution more difficult to achieve".

The meeting is the first one to be held by the Quartet since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

The Quartet had been on the sidelines in recent years, allowing the US to spearhead efforts to broker an Israel-PA deal.

Past efforts under the Obama Administration to broker a peace agreement failed in 2014 when the PA unilaterally applied to join international organizations in breach of the conditions of the talks.

The Biden administration has called on both sides to refrain from unilateral steps that could harm peace efforts. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently told Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi the US believes in a two-state solution to solve the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict.

The PA had rejected attempts by the Trump administration to broker peace talks with Israel, arguing that Trump was biased in favor of Israel and therefore not an “honest broker”.

However, the PA welcomed the election of Joe Biden as US President, and has indicated it would be willing to resume talks.