Ban says Middle East rivals must show 'courage' in talks

UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Friday that Israeli and Palestinian leaders must show "courage and responsibility" to maintain the peace talks revived by the United States, according to his spokesman.

Ban welcomed the announcement by US Secretary of State Kerry that an accord had been reached to resume talks between the Middle East rivals, which have been frozen since September 2010, Martin Nesirky said.

Ban, a member of the diplomatic Quartet on the peace process with the United States, Russia and European Union, "commends" Kerry's efforts and the decision by Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

"He is encouraged by this positive development and calls on both sides to show leadership, courage, and responsibility to sustain this effort towards achieving the two-state vision," Nesirky added.

"The United Nations will support any endeavor towards meaningful negotiations and to the achievement of a comprehensive peace in the region," he said.