Israeli FM slams Quartet's call for settlement freeze

22:14, March 19, 2010      

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Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday slammed the Mideast Quartet's call for a complete freeze of Israeli settlement construction, local news service Ynet reported.

"The Quartet's statement ignores the experiences of the past 16 years and does not take into account that peace must be constructed from the ground up, with practical actions on the ground," Lieberman was quoted as saying.

Lieberman's remarks came after top diplomats of the Mideast Quartet on Friday urged Israel to stop all settlement construction within 24 months, so as to promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which the Quartet hope will lead to "the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state."

"You cannot force peace artificially, in an unrealistic timetable," said Lieberman, referring to the two-year time frame.

The Quartet of mediators on the Middle East, which groups Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, met in Moscow on Friday to push forward the peace process.

Source: Xinhua
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