Clinton condemns settlements, but defends US position toward Israel

Published November 4th, 2009 - 01:35 GMT

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the Obama administration’s position on Israeli settlement construction Wednesday. Following a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Clinton said, “Our policy on settlement has not changed.”


“There is no doubt that moving toward a state that reflects the aspirations and the rights of the Palestinian people must include all of the issues that have been discussed and mentioned by President [Barack] Obama, and that includes Jerusalem,” she said.

“We do not accept the legitimacy of settlement activity and we have a very firm belief that ending all settlement activity, current and future, would be preferable,” Clinton added.

Speaking on Israel’s offer for a temporary settlement freeze, Clinton said, “It is not what we would prefer because we would like to see everything ended forever.” “But it is something that I think shows at least a positive movement forward toward final status issues being addressed,” she said.

On Saturday, Clinton said that a full settlement freeze was not a precondition to resuming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Palestinian leaders, however, have said otherwise.


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