Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jordan, UN discuss Israeli settlements

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh

Source: Press TV

Jordan says the continuous building of illegal settlements by Israel on occupied Palestinian lands is impeding efforts to resume talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Palestinian cause is the core to resolving all regional conflicts, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told US Deputy Special Envoy for Middle East David Hale in Amman on Wednesday, Jordan's Petra news agency reported.

Highlighting efforts to resume the long-stalled talks between the two sides, Judeh condemned Israel's unilateral, illegal and provocative measures in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“Efforts must be undertaken to freeze these illegal construction activities immediately,” he said, highlighting Jordan's efforts to resume PA-Israeli talks.

The latest round of direct talks between Israeli and PA negotiators was derailed by Tel Aviv's refusal to extend a temporary, partial freeze on its West Bank settlement projects after the moratorium expired last September.

Judeh and Hale underlined the need for negotiations to tackle all final-status issues according to certain mechanisms and within a clear timetable to arrive at a comprehensive solution.

For his part, Hale briefed Judeh on the outcome of talks which US President Barack Obama is holding with all stakeholders to overcome obstacles, in addition to preparations for the upcoming meeting of the Middle East Quartet -- which comprises of Russia, European Union, the UN and the US -- in Berlin.

On Monday, Israeli authorities approved the construction of 942 new housing units in Gilo, a settlement neighborhood in Jerusalem's mostly Arab eastern sector.

The move was condemned by the United Nations on Tuesday, with the world body branding it as “illegal and contrary to the roadmap” adopted by the Middle East diplomatic Quartet.

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