US President Barack Obama has requested Israel extend the West Bank settlement construction moratorium by only two months with the precondition of no further extensions, according to Obama's Middle East adviser David Makovski, Army Radio reported Thursday.
According to the report, Makovsky, a close associate of Dennis Ross, said that in turn for extending the settlement building freeze, Obama entrusted a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu which commits the US to drop any veto on any defense proposal regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the coming year. In addition, Washington will not object to the request of leaving Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley for a prolonged duration.
Makovsky, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process, wrote on the institute's site on Wednesday that the "draft letter [was] negotiated with Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak and chief Israeli peace negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, and [was] ultimately sent from President Obama's desk to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu."
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