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Kerry: The US "views all of the settlements as illegitimate,"

Monday, August 12, 2013 - 00:49

Aug. 12 -As Israel announced plans to expand settlements, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry said, the U.S. ''views all of the settlements as illegitimate.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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STORY: Israel's announcement of plans to expand Jewish settlements on land Palestinians seek for a state clouded the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks convening in the Middle East this week for the first time in three years. The talks, which opened in Washington on July 30, were due to resume on Wednesday in Israel, with further talks expected later in the West Bank. Peace talks broke down three years ago in a dispute over settlement building. The United States is seeking to broker an agreement on a "two-state solution" in which Israel would exist peacefully alongside a new Palestinian state created in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, lands occupied by the Israelis since a 1967 war. During a visit to Colombia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose painstaking shuttle diplomacy got the talks restarted in Washington last month, urged the Palestinians "not to react adversely" to Israel's latest plans. He said Israel's settlement steps "were to some degree expected" and urged the parties to move ahead with the talks. "The United States of America views all of the settlements as illegitimate," Kerry said in Bogota. Israel's settlement expansion plans, which officials say is intended for West Bank areas Israel would seek to keep under any peace deal, were an attempt to sweeten with far-right allies of Netanyahu the unpopular plan to free Palestinians convicted of killing Israelis.

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Kerry: The US "views all of the settlements as illegitimate,"

Monday, August 12, 2013 - 00:49