Britain condemns Israeli settlement announcement

    By IANS/WAM,

    Abu Dhabi: Condemning Israeli settlement announcement, Britain has called for focus on negotiations and urged the Israeli authorities to reverse its decisions to advance plans for settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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    “We condemn the recent decisions taken by the Israeli authorities to advance plans for 1096 settlement units in the West Bank, and to approve the construction of 63 new units in East Jerusalem, ” Alistair Burt, the British foreign office minister for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a release.

    “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, undermine trust and threaten the viability of the two-state solution. The UK urges the Israeli authorities to reverse these decisions.”

    He said the focus now must be on “resumed negotiating efforts between the parties towards a two-state solution, starting with negotiations on 14 August”. “We urge both parties to continue to show the bold and decisive leadership needed for these efforts to succeed, and to avoid steps that undermine negotiations.”

    “The need for progress is urgent: we firmly believe the current efforts can bring about the lasting peace that the people of the region deserve,” Burt added.