U.S., Israel committed to lasting peace in Mideast

08:30, October 19, 2010      

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The United States and Israel reemphasized Monday their commitment to the pursuit of "lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, and between Israel and all of its neighbors."

In their meeting in Washington for the semi-annual U.S.-Israel Strategic Dialogue, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon committed their countries to "working together to enhance regional security and stability."

They said in a joint statement that "the present discussions helped identify ways to improve our already strong cooperation in this regard for the benefit of all in the region."

Direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine, restarted in early September in Washington after a hiatus of nearly 20 months, have remained deadlocked since mid-September over Israel's refusal to extend a partial freeze on settlement building in the West Bank. The Arab League last week gave Washington one month to help resume the direct negotiations.

"While today's strategic dialogue covered many subjects, it is clear that Iran is among the greatest challenges we face today in the Middle East," Steinberg and Ayalon said in their joint statement. "Iran's continued noncompliance with its international obligations related to its nuclear program, as well as its continued support for terrorist entities, are of grave concern to our two countries and the entire international community. Continued efforts by the international community to address Iran's actions through both pressure and engagement are critical to changing Iran's strategic calculus and preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability."

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:赵晨雁)

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