'Lack of ME peace affects US'

Robert Gates says Israeli-Palestinian tensions exploited by foes in region.

March 25, 2010 18:34
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

robert gates 311. (photo credit: AP)

Israeli-Palestinian tensions are affecting US national security interests in the region, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

"The lack of progress toward Middle East peace is clearly an issue that's exploited by our adversaries in the region" and "does affect US national security interests in the region," Gates was cited by AFP as saying.

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Gates spoke at a news conference amid US discontent with Israel over its announced plans to build new homes for Jews in east Jerusalem, which Washington says hurts Mideast peace efforts.

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