PM Netanyahu meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in NY
Photo: Avi Ohayon

Netanyahu, Clinton hold marathon session in NY

Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary of State Clinton meet for more than seven hours. PM says he's still serious about reaching peace deal with Palestinians; reports about planned east Jerusalem construction surface during meeting

Thursday's meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York lasted for more than seven hours, despite initial plans for a two-hour session at most.


In joint statement, the two leaders said they had a "good discussion" and agreed on the importance of continuing direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The two also said that Israel's security requirements will be fully taken into account in any future peace deal.


Following an initial face-to-face meeting, American and Israeli negotiation team representatives convened at Netanyahu's hotel. According to estimates, both sides presented various proposals, and later split for intensive discussions ahead of further meetings.


Earlier, Netanyahu said he's still serious about reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians.


The PM also said he hopes to broaden the process to include other Arab countries.


Clinton has said she is concerned because Israel has plans to build apartments in east Jerusalem, but before the meeting she refused to respond to a question about disagreements over the issues between Netanyahu and President Obama.


"We've been talking and will talk today about how to resume them to continue this process to get the historic agreement with peace and security between us and the Palestinians," Netanyahu said.


"I would like to add that we also hope to broaden it to many other Arab countries. So this is our common goal. We're quite serious about doing it and we want to get on with it."


Asked by a reporter whether peace talks would resume soon, Clinton replied, "That's what we're going to be discussing. We're both very committed to it."


Jerusalem construction to be OK'd?

Despite previous embarrassments, reports about a new construction plan in east Jerusalem surfaced right in time for Netanyahu's meeting with Clinton.


According to the reports, Jerusalem's zoning committee will be discussing Monday a plan to build 130 housing units in the city's Gilo neighborhood, located beyond the Green Line. The news coincides with the prime minister's meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


The plan was submitted by a private contractor, who wishes to build three high-rises the border between the Jewish Gilo neighborhood and the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa. However, officials in Jerusalem said they did not expect the plan to be approved, because it contradicts current construction regulations.


In an official statement, Jerusalem's city hall said: "On the face of it, the request is not in line with the city's policy on shifting hotel areas to residential areas. The local committee will discuss the plan, as required by law, and take a decision."


AP and Ronen Medzini contributed to the story  



פרסום ראשון: 11.11.10, 19:43
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