March 20, 2010

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Saturday said the international community “strongly supports” Palestinian efforts to build a viable state at the start of a visit aimed at reviving peace talks.

He kicked off his two-day visit by meeting Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad in the West Bank political capital of Ramallah and praising his plan to build the institutions of an independent Palestinian state by mid-2011.

Ban is also expected to meet senior Israeli officials and to visit the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, still largely in ruins following a 22-day Israeli military campaign launched in December 2008.

Ban arrived in Ramallah a day after the Middle East diplomatic Quartet called for Israel to halt all settlement construction and for both sides to reach a peace deal by 2012.

Full article here