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Hague says settlement expansion harms Israel's standing and threatens two-state solution

Britain's Foreign Secretary has said that continued illegal settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank "is harming Israel's international standing and endangering the two state solution". William Hague expressed his concerns in a statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Wednesday following his meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman. Hague said that Britain is concerned about the "current stalemate" in the Middle East peace process and that there is an urgent need for progress.


"I reiterated our unswerving support for a lasting two state solution to the conflict that achieves a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian State," said Hague, "[to be] based on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem the future capital of both states, and a fair settlement for refugees." Britain, he said, is ready to work with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to bring that about. He described the meeting with the extreme right-winger Lieberman as "positive" and "wide-ranging".

Among other topics, the two discussed the current stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions. "We need to engage with Iran meaningfully to help enable a peaceful resolution to the issue," Hague added.

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