France's Hollande demands "full halt" to Israeli settlement activity in first official visit to Ramallah
President Hollande's visit represents the first time the French leader has officially visited the Palestinian Territories (Abbas Momani/AFP)
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Agence France-Presse reported Monday that French President Francois Hollande called for a "a complete halt" to Israeli settlement activity following his meetings Sunday and Monday with Israeli and Palestinian leadership.
At a joint news conference with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Hollande told reporters that "France demands a full and complete halt to settlement activity."
The French leader further stated that settlement construction was "problematic" for the progression of the peace talks that have been severely undermined by Israel's recent plans to expand its illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"Settlement activity complicates the negotiations and makes it difficult to achieve a two-state solution," Hollande said.
Coinciding with Hollande's visit, Abbas told AFP Sunday that peace talks with Israel would continue for the full nine-month period as agreed to in July despite announcements last week that the Palestinian negotiation team had resigned.
Hollande's meeting in Ramallah this week represents the French leader's first official visit to the Palestinian territories.