US, UN, EU and Russia to meet in late January to discuss Israeli-Palestinian issues

The U.S. says the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia will meet at the end of January to discuss the way ahead toward Israeli-Palestinian peace.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power made the announcement Thursday during the U.N. Security Council's monthly Mideast debate.

She urged both sides "to exercise maximum restraint and avoid steps that threaten to push Israeli-Palestinian relations into a cycle of further escalation."

The meeting of the so-called Quartet of Mideast mediators follows the council's rejection of a Palestinian-backed resolution demanding an end to Israeli occupation within three years. It also comes after Palestine's subsequent decision to join the International Criminal Court.