US urged to halt Israeli settlements

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya has urged the United States to show a firmer position toward Israel and stop its settlement expansion plans.

    The Palestinian PM says the US must be firm with Israel

    Quraya said in a statement on Thursday that the Israeli policy was "threatening the entire peace process".
     
    Quraya's statement came after a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch and White House deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams in Ram Allah.

    "The Palestinian people and their leadership are seeking a clear and firm US position toward what Israel is doing with settlement plans that are threatening the entire peace process," Quraya said.

    In Washington, US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Welch and Abrams were told by Israeli officials a day earlier that no final decision had been reached on the latest settlement proposal.

    US concern
     
    "We have restated our fundamental concern regarding any unilateral action that could prejudice the rights of other parties or the outcome of final status negotiations or adversely affect the situation of people living in the areas," Ereli said.
     
    Quraya said the Israeli government "is still continuing to make official decisions to go for intensive expansion of the three major settlements in the West Bank and the settlements around Jerusalem".

    "There should be a firm position toward what Israel is doing, mainly halting its unilateral actions it makes in the West Bank"

    Ahmad Quraya
    Palestinian prime minister

    "It is not enough that the United States asks for clarification from Israel," he added. "There should be a firm position toward what Israel is doing, mainly halting its unilateral actions it makes in the West Bank."
     
    Asked about the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements, Quraya said: "We are not in favour of direct coordination with Israel in a decision that had been unilaterally decided by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

    "Sharon's strategy depends on the solution that he wants only. He made his decision, and he earned his government and the Knesset support for it and also convinced the world, and no one asked him one single question."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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