UN chief sympathizes with Palestinians

September 15, 2011 - 2:35 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he's sympathetic to the frustrations of the Palestinian people who have failed to achieve an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Ban told a news conference Thursday that an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "is long overdue" and it's vital that long-stalled negotiations resume.

"I am profoundly troubled by the lack of progress in the peace negotiations," he said. "Time is not our friend."

He said Israel has a duty to create conditions favorable to resuming negotiations and noted that new settlement activity "has not been helpful." He said the Palestinians should try to sit down for talks with the Israelis.

Ban spoke as the Palestinians are preparing to seek U.N. membership or recognition as a state.