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Egyptian FM backs Palestinian position on settlements

CAIRO — Egypt on Sunday backed the Palestinians' refusal to negotiate with Israel as long as it continues to build West Bank settlements, even as officials urged Sunday for continued diplomacy to salvage the month-old talks.
"We understand the Palestinian position which calls for setting the appropriate environment and circumstances for negotiations to take place and continue," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said. "The current conditions are not favorable."
Aboul Gheit said the focus now should be on continued US and international efforts to pressure Israel into agreeing to extending the settlement moratorium.
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