UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday expressed his "strong support" for the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Ban made the statement as he met Israeli justice minister and chief negotiator in the peace talks, Tzipi Livni, Xinhua reported.
"The secretary-general expressed his strong support for the resumption of credible negotiations to achieve the two-state solution and his appreciation for the recent courageous decision of (Israeli) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in this regard," the UN's Deputy Spokesman Eduardo del Buey said.
The initial meetings will be attended by Livni and Netanyahu's personal envoy Yitzhak Molcho, while the Palestinians will be represented by chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh, a senior member of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
The secretary-general "stressed the importance of creating an environment conducive to the resumption of talks, and encouraged both sides to take further positive steps in this regard", the spokesman said.