Britain 'disappointed' at end to Israeli settlement freeze

27th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain expressed its "disappointment" Monday at Israel's refusal to extend a moratorium on settlement-building in the West Bank and warned that Middle East peace talks could founder on the issue.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement: "I am very disappointed to hear that the moratorium has not been renewed.

"I remain very concerned that talks could falter on this issue and I call on Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu and his government to show leadership to resolve this so the parties can focus on the real challenges ahead."

Hague said he would personally pass on his appeal to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the UN General Assembly in New York, which both ministers are currently attending.

Israeli settlers resumed building across the West Bank on Monday after the partial freeze on construction expired, but the Palestinians held back on threats to quit peace talks over the move.

© 2010 AFP

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