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US regrets Israel's plan for additional settlements

Regretting the Israeli decision to go ahead with additional settlement construction, the United States has said that all sides need to abide by their obligation under roadmap to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

world Updated: Sep 05, 2009 10:14 IST

Regretting the Israeli decision to go ahead with additional settlement construction, the United States has said that all sides need to abide by their obligation under roadmap to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

"All sides have to abide by their obligations under the Roadmap," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters yesterday.

For the Israelis, that means a stop to settlement activity; for Palestinians, it means increasing confidence in their ability to handle their own security; and for the Arab states, it means taking steps towards normalisation of their relationship with Israel, he said.

The spokesperson said the Obama administration was looking forward to continue the dialogue with Israel and all other players, in its effort to push for a lasting peace in the region.

"What is going on now is we were having very intense discussions with all the parties involved. Right now, we are focusing on our discussion with the Israeli officials. We talk very frankly and they talk very frankly, but this is, I think, part of the whole process of our discussions. We are being clear, they are being clear," he said.

Responding to a question, Kelly said the US would encourage more dialogue between Israel and Palestine on many different levels.