Netanyahu plans policy address next week after US demands

Netanyahu said that he would deliver a major policy address next week "laying out his cabinet's policies on peace and security."

Netanyahu plans policy address next week after US demands

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that faces US demands to freeze West Bank settlement expansion and accept two-state solution, said Sunday that he would deliver a major policy address next week "laying out his cabinet's policies on peace and security."

"Next week, I will make a major diplomatic speech in which I will present to the citizens of Israel our principles for achieving peace and security," Netanyahu told his cabinet, without citing a precise date for the address.

"I want to make clear, it is our intention to achieve peace with the Palestinians and with the countries of the Arab world while attempting to reach maximum understanding with the United States and our friends in the world," he said.

Netanyahu made no mention of the main areas of dispute with Washington: Jewish settlement expansion opposed by US and Palestinian statehood which the Israeli leader has refused.

Netanyahu, who heads a right-leaning coalition that includes parties that favor settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, said he would consult with political partners before delivering the speech.

In speeches last week in Egypt and Europe, Obama prominently pressed for a settlement freeze and a two-state solution.

Israel has claimed that it reached "secret agreements with the Bush administration to keep building in existing settlements". In particular, it has cited a 2004 letter signed by Bush in which the U.S. leader said a future peace deal would recognize "new realities on the ground" in the West Bank.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that the White House would not recognize any informal understandings of the past.

Agencies






Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Haziran 2009, 12:08
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