Lula urges Israel settlement freeze

Brazilian president vows to help Palestinian President Abbas in peace efforts.

    Abbas, left, urged Silva, right, to play a greater role in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts [REUTERS]

    Stalled peace efforts

    Israel approved the construction of 900 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem earlier this week, calling it part of a "routine building programme".

    The Palestinians say the settlement issue is central to efforts to restart stalled peace talks, and it has demanded that all construction is halted before they resume talks.

    FROM THE BLOGS
    Brazil as Middle East peace broker?
    By Gabriel Elizondo in The Americas Blog
    The Brazilian president pledged on Friday to help Abbas re-launch the stalled talks, saying the peace process would "benefit from the contribution of countries other than those traditionally involved" in negotiation efforts.

    "From the smallest country in the world to the world's largest country, among their priorities should be peace negotiations in the Middle East," he said.

    Abbas said he appreciated Brazil's efforts to get involved in the process, but urged Lula to play a greater role in international peace efforts.

    "With respect to you, President Lula, we would like you to have a role, and you're ready for it," Abbas said.

    "We want you to play a role, which you have welcomed, and we welcome you playing a role like this, because we need you and your support and help."

    Abbas is also scheduled to travel to Argentina and Chile during his tour of the region.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.