Obama national security aide chides Israel over settlements

By REUTERS
November 15, 2013 06:46

President Barack Obama's top national security aide on Thursday blamed Israeli settlement expansion announcements for some of the latest tensions between Israel and the Palestinians as US-brokered peace talks between the two sides have faltered.

In a speech to a Washington think tank, Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, said the United States remained committed to Middle East peacemaking, but made clear that it saw Jewish settlement construction plans as hampering those efforts.




"We have seen increased tensions on the ground. Some of this is a result of recent settlement announcements. So let me reiterate: The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," she said.




Her remarks to a conference of the Middle East Institute drew applause from an audience that included former and current US officials, foreign diplomats, some from Arab countries, and regional experts.



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