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Obama: Israeli settlements not constructive

3 years 6 months 1 week ago March 21, 2013 Mar 21, 2013 Thursday, March 21 2013 March 21, 2013 8:41 AM in News
Source: Associated Press

RAMALLAH, West Bank - President Barack Obama says he's told Israel's leaders the U.S. does not consider settlement activity in the West Bank to be constructive or appropriate.

He says the activity does not advance the cause of peace.

Obama spoke at a news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama says he recognizes that halting settlement activity is tough politically for Israeli leaders.

But he suggests that Palestinians should not make it a condition to resuming peace negotiations with Israel. He says there's no point to negotiations if the expectation is that everything must be figured out in advance.

Abbas told Obama that peace with Israel should not be achieved through violence, occupation, settlements, arrests or denial of refugee rights.

Obama met Wednesday in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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