Rice says Israeli settlement plans "not helpful"

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Sasquatch, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    [FONT=&quot]Rice says Israeli settlement plans "not helpful" [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]13 minutes ago[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
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    [FONT=&quot]Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Israel on Wednesday over plans to build hundreds of new homes in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and said it did not help the peace process.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=&quot]"The United States considers the expansion of settlement activity to be not consistent with Israeli obligations under the road map and we have made that very clear. I have also said that it is certainly not helpful for the peace process," Rice told U.S. lawmakers, in a rare public criticism of Israel.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=&quot]The Palestinians have denounced settlement expansion plans as a blow to U.S.-brokered peace talks, which were briefly derailed last week following an Israeli offensive into Gaza.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=&quot]Rice, who was in the region last week to revive stalled talks, said both sides needed to fulfill their obligations under a 2003 Middle East "road map" for peace that required Israel to halt all settlement activity and for Palestinians to rein in militants.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=&quot]U.S. Gen. William Fraser, appointed by Rice to help oversee those commitments, is set to hold a meeting on Friday with both sides to discuss the issue.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=&quot]"I can assure you that we are following very closely to assure that U.S. dollars are not being used to support the settlement activity," Rice told a hearing of a House of Representatives appropriations sub-committee.[/FONT]


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