US President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their joint news conference at the Muqata President Compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Thursday, March 21, 2013. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Obama: Israel settlements don't advance "cause of peace"
The president speaks at a news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — President Barack Obama says he's told Israel's leaders the U.S. does not consider settlement activity in the West Bank to be constructive or appropriate.
He says the activity does not advance the cause of peace.
Obama spoke at a news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama says he recognizes that halting settlement activity is tough politically for Israeli leaders.
But he suggests that Palestinians should not make it a condition to resuming peace negotiations with Israel. He says there's no point to negotiations if the expectation is that everything must be figured out in advance.
Obama met Wednesday in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.