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01 July 2009 @ 10:39 pm
Barak says regional peace, not settlements, paramount  


JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quoted as saying on Wednesday that Israel was close to an understanding with Washington on Jewish settlements, but ruled out a total freeze. In an Israel Radio interview to be aired later in the day, Barak said Israel was insisting on completing construction projects already under way in settlements in the West Bank, the state-owned broadcaster reported on its website. Barak held talks in New York on Tuesday with U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell in a bid to end a rare rift between Israel and its main ally on the settlement iss... read more