Obama lauds Israel's settlement freeze proposal

Updated: 2010-11-15 10:23


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WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday lauded Israel's three-month settlement freeze proposal as " promising."

"I commend Prime Minister Netanyahu for taking I think a very constructive step," Obama told reporters after returning to Washington from a 10-day Asia trip.

"It's not easy for him to do, but I think it's a signal that he is serious," the president added.

Obama said he'd like to see parties quickly return to final- status negotiations so that future freezes won't be needed.

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Obama lauds Israel's settlement freeze proposal End of Israeli settlement freeze looms over peace talks

Obama lauds Israel's settlement freeze proposal Netanyahu faces difficult choice on settlement freeze

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly made an offer during a marathon seven-hour-long meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Thursday, in exchange for Israel's extension of moratorium on West Bank settlement construction.

U.S. would give Israel 20 F-35 jets, a three-billion-dollar deal that essentially doubles the package Israel had already garnered, as well as support against delegitimization efforts at the United Nations and other international arenas, a source close to the Israeli government told Xinhua on Sunday.

Netanyahu presented the offer to his full cabinet on Sunday at the weekly session. But during the meeting, he encountered fierce opposition to the proposal from Likud hard-liners. It is still uncertain if the deal can be finally approved, which is key to the resumption of the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.


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