No Settlement Talks in Israel PM Visit

An official visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the US has been wrapped up with no concrete decision over extension of Tel Aviv’s partial settlement freeze.

The Israeli premier left the United States late Thursday following his fruitless talks with a number of top American officials.

During a seven-hour meeting in New York on Thursday, Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not address the settlement issue, which stopped direct talks between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The US-sponsored talks between Israel and the PA began in early September after a 20-month break, but ended with no conclusion over the Israeli settlement issue.

The stalemate came after Tel Aviv refused to extend its partial 10-month moratorium on the settlement projects, which ended in late September.

Earlier this week, settlement watchdog Peace Now announced that Israel has three plans for constructing more than 1,300 new units in the East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

In response, US President Barack Obama criticized Israeli officials, saying "this kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations."

Netanyahu also met US Vice President Joe Biden and US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, but he did not meet with President Obama as the US leader was on his Asia tour.

(Press TV)

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