UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez on Tuesday called for efforts to deal with chaos in the Middle East, warning of the danger of escalation in the region.

“The situation in the Middle East as a whole has become a Gordian knot (a very complex problem), with many points of conflict intertwined, and the threat of escalation is real,” Guterich said at an unofficial meeting of the UN General Assembly in a presentation of his priorities for 2018.

He called for a return to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, stressing that “there is no alternative to a two-state solution. Recent signs of diminishing support for this solution threaten the moderate forces and strengthen the radicals.”

Guterich called for efforts to preserve Lebanon’s sovereignty and stability and strengthen state institutions.

On war-torn Yemen, Guterich said it was time for warring parties to engage in meaningful peace negotiations as well as special efforts to ease the dramatic humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

For the Gulf region, Guterich urged all parties to use all opportunities to establish and strengthen regional dialogue platforms, avoid escalation and allow political solutions to emerge.

For Syria, the United Nations will continue to engage in genuine, representative and direct negotiations between the Syrian parties leading to a political settlement of the conflict there, he said.

The Secretary-General also stressed the efforts to ensure Iraq’s territorial integrity, seek comprehensive governance and ease sectarian tensions.