Mubarak: No peace talks without halting settlement construction

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday said Egypt refuses to continue its participation in peace negotiations in light of the resumption of Israeli settlement construction. Mubarak pressed Israel to take a more responsible stance towards the talks.

"The settlement activity on occupied land tears down the most important elements of an independent Palestinian state, which is land," Mubarak said in an interview with Armed Forces newspaper. The statement came on the thirty-seventh anniversary of the October 1973 war.

Mubarak said he recently told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "the continuation of settlement activity hinders the negotiations and undermines the peace process."

"The peace process cannot afford any new failures,” he added. “I have warned of the possible escalation of violence and terrorism in the region and around the world if negotiations fail."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend a settlement construction moratorium which ended 26 September. The Israeli decision resulted in the suspension of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.



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