Israel: Talks on settlement curbs postponed

Israeli defense minister says talks have been put off because Washington is busy dealing with WikiLeaks fallout

Published December 7, 2010 1:58PM (EST)

Israel's defense minister says talks with Washington meant to curb settlement construction and restart negotiations with the Palestinians have been put on hold.

The U.S. has pressed Israel to renew a moratorium on new construction in exchange for security and diplomatic assurances.

Palestinians say they won't return to stalled peace talks unless Israel halts all building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem -- lands they want for part of their future state.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that talks have been postponed because Washington is busy dealing with fallout from secret documents released on the WikiLeaks website.

Peace talks began in September but ground to a halt three weeks later after a 10-month Israeli curb on West Bank building expired.

By Associated Press

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Israel Middle East Wikileaks