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Middle east

Palestinians 'satisfied' with US position on Israel

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-11-02

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki says he is "satisfied" with Washington's position that an offer from Israel to show "restraint" on the issue of settlements in the occupied West Bank falls short of US expectations.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said Monday he was "satisfied" with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's explanation that Washington's position on settlements had not changed.
  
"We were surprised by the statements (from Clinton previously) and, from our point of view, that did not correspond to what we had heard in Abu Dhabi," al-Malki told journalists.
  
"I think that those statements were later corrected. So, we are satisfied that position has been straightened out."
  
Both Clinton and al-Malki were participating in an international conference of Arab foreign ministers in Marrakech, Morocco.
  
The United States had previously urged a total halt to new Israeli construction in the occupied West Bank as a precursor to new Mideast peace negotiations.
  
On Saturday Clinton said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to restrict new building was "unprecedented".

In a bid to clarify the statement, Clinton said on Monday that Israel's offer to show
restraint on settlements falls short of US expectations.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said earlier on Monday he feared U.S. President Barack Obama's drive to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks could be heading for failure over the settlement issue.

Date created : 2009-11-02

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    Palestinians accuse US about-face on Israeli settlements of killing peace talk hopes

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