Germany criticizes Israeli plans for new settlements in East Jerusalem

10:18, March 11, 2010      

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German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Wednesday criticized the Israeli approval of plans for the building of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, saying that it is "the wrong signal at the wrong time."

"I see the decision of the Israeli government with great concern," said Westerwelle in a statement. "The announcement of the construction of additional housing units is the wrong signal at the wrong time."

"Our stance on the settlement issue is as clear as that of the EU and the entire international community. It is enshrined in the roadmap, and provides for a freeze on settlement activity," Westerwelle added.

He also stressed that Germany will support all efforts to boost renewed peace efforts in the region.

The Israeli announcement came at a time when both Israelis and Palestinians agreed to indirect talks, and the Mideast Quartet, which groups Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, is scheduled to meet in Moscow on March 19 to push forward the peace process.

Source: Xinhua
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