“The Secretary-General met today with… Mr. Moshe Yaalon, Minister of Defense of Israel,” the statement said. “He [Ban] stressed the need for both sides to restore a political horizon toward a peaceful two-state solution.”
The Secretary General encouraged Israel to take significant steps, in line with the calls by the Middle East Quartet, to “strengthen Palestinian institutions, economic and security prospects, while respecting legitimate Israel's security concerns,” the statement continued.
The Middle East Quartet, consisting of the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union, last met in May 2015. Since then, Mideast peace efforts have stalled, in part because of a tense relationship between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
From the Palestinian side, expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have soured interest in resumed peace talks. Instead, the Palestinians have lobbied for international recognition of territory they control as an independent nation.