Quartet to meet Sunday


The Quartet of entities guiding the Middle East peace process will meet over the weekend.

Representatives of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations will meet Sunday in Brussels.

The meeting comes as the Obama administration is endeavoring to head of a crisis set off by the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition at the United Nations.

The bid is still under consideration by the U.N. Security Council, and the United States has pledged to veto it should it obtain a majority, but such a veto could further inflame diplomatic tensions.

The Quartet is urging the sides to resume talks without preconditions and has set a timeline for the end of 2012.

The Palestinians insist on Israel freezing settlements before resuming talks; Israel is ready to talk, but has reservations about the deadline.

Meanhile, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president appealed Thursday to the 47-member Council of Europe to recognize Palestinian statehood.