US’ reaction to Israel ‘paying off’ with new talks: Hillary

Last Updated: Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 10:11

Moscow: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the BBC on Friday that the strong US’ reaction to Israeli settlement plans is "paying off" as Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are expected to resume.
Speaking to the BBC and other media, the chief US diplomat sounded upbeat after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned her while she was in Moscow on Thursday to answer her concerns she raised with him last week.

"What I heard from the prime minister in response for the request we made was useful and productive, and we`re continuing our discussions with him and his government," Hillary told reporters in Moscow.

"It`s one of the reasons Senator (George) Mitchell will be going back to the region and meeting with him in just a few days," Hillary said.

A crisis in US-Israeli relations erupted on March 09 when Israel announced it would build 1,600 new homes in east Jerusalem just as Vice President Joe Biden visited the holy
city to highlight the start of Mitchell-brokered peace talks.

The talks, albeit indirect with Mitchell shuffling between both sides, are the first of any kind since direct negotiations collapsed with Israel`s December 2008 invasion of
Gaza.

"I think we`re going to see the resumption of the negotiation track and that means that it is paying off because that`s our goal," Hillary told the BBC when asked whether her tough reaction to Israeli settlement plans is paying off.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 10:11
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