Quartet’s Blair says Settlements Undermine Prospects of Talks

JERUSALEM, December 20, 2012 (WAFA) – Quartet representative Tony Blair Thursday criticized Israel’s settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories saying it undermines prospects for a negotiated peace settlement.

“The problem is not only the building of such settlements itself but also that this is a moment when it is vital to re-start a proper negotiation and all such announcements do is to put new obstacles in the way of progress and undermine the prospects for a negotiated peace leading to a viable Palestinian state living side by side with a safe and secure Israel,” he said in a statement.

Blair expressed support to statements the US State Department and the four European members of the UN Security Council have made regarding Israel’s settlements.

The US and European statements strongly criticized Israeli plans to build thousands of new housing units in settlements in the occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem, particularly the controversial E1 project which they said will destroy all prospects to create a contiguous Palestinian state.

“All parties should refrain from unilateral actions that harm efforts to achieve peace,” Blair concluded his statement.

Source: WAFA News