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EU's Ashton 'regrets' tenders for new units in Israeli settlements
Published Thursday 08/11/2012 (updated) 11/11/2012 20:38
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Quartet Representative Tony Blair, Palestinian Finance Minister
Nabil Kassis and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton attend
a meeting in New York Sept. 23, 2012. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton "regrets" Israel's publication of tenders to expand the illegal settlements of Ramot and Pisgat Zeev, a representative said Thursday.

“The High Representative deeply regrets this week’s publication of tenders," a representative said in a statement.

The statement said that the EU backs two states and any unilateral action by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and "will not be recognized by the European Union."

"Continuous expansion of settlements, wherever this takes place, further complicates ongoing diplomatic efforts to avoid a deterioration in the prospects for a return to negotiations at this critical time."

"Settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible," the statement said.

UK, France condemn

Britain's Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt condemned the tenders as "provocative."

"I condemn yesterday’s provocative decision to advance settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank through the publication of tenders for 1285 settlement housing units."

"The UK has been consistently clear that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and by altering the situation on the ground are making the two state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, increasingly hard to realise.

"It is deeply disappointing that the Government of Israel continues to ignore the appeals of the UK and other friends of Israel,” Burt said in a statement.

France also condemned the calls for tenders.

"France reaffirms its very grave concern at the provocative announcements and notices in an already tense situation," a statement from its consulate said.

"Israeli settlement activity – in all its forms – is illegal under international law. It is detrimental to efforts to restore trust between the parties and constitutes an obstacle to a just peace based on the two-state solution."

The statement said France's president's position is that settlement activity "must cease."

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1 ) Bill Williamson / UK
09/11/2012 00:00
Western politicians have been condemning Israeil violations of international law for years. They should know by now it has no effect. The two-state solution is moribund. Apartheid Israel grows stronger by the day and the US and the EU look on but will not act.

2 ) Amira / Canada
09/11/2012 00:13
They are cowards and they have no self-respect. They are afraid to take any action against the criminal zionists.

3 ) ian / australia
09/11/2012 06:45
"Regrets" might seem weak but it's cumulative...it all builds up: "deeply regrets", "condemn", "deeply disappointing", "grave concern", "will not be recognized", "must cease". I think a European bloc is forming which is fed up with Israel, immune to intimidation and ready to do the historic right thing by Palestine. Europeans love justice. (They learnt to the hard way.) (Also what fascism looks like.) (Also there's no mention of the upgrade as a unilateral step which "will not be recognized"...

4 ) ian / australia
09/11/2012 06:48
(contd.) which might be a simple omission and insignificant, or not.)

5 ) Dweikat / Palestine
09/11/2012 09:27
Always regret...bla bla bla.....I want actions not crybaby talk...

6 ) gabi / austdralia
09/11/2012 12:44
you know, despite all their nukes and enormous firepower, the strongest weapon the Israelis have is the use of the term "anti-Semite". That is what the EU fears most - to be called anti-Semites. Similarly most western countries. And Israel know this, and plays that card so successfully.

7 ) Mel / USA
09/11/2012 16:09
Oh shishkebabs! These lily-livered "status-quo-tet war-crimes collaborators,must spend seconds,looking through their D.C.-issued diplospeak lexicons trying to dig out a word which HASN'T been used for at least 1 week! Il Duce Katy is a DISGRACE!As shameful as "Judas"Blair!All terrified of their D.C. masters. UKG is a sh*t-pit just like D.C.&the EUC.Full of spineless SOB's! Pro-Zionist-COWARDS!They shame ALL those who fought,& died,in WW2 against racist,bigotted exceptionalism&fascism!!!!!
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