US President Barack Obama has repeated his demand for Israel to extend a moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank.
The renewed call came as Obama was addressing the 65th UN General Assembly in New York.
“Israel’s settlements moratorium has made a difference on the ground, and improved the atmosphere for talks. Our position on this issue is well known: we believe that the moratorium should be extended,” the US president said.
The Israeli delegation was not there to hear Obama, but denied its absence was a snub, claiming it could not be present because of the Sukkot holiday.
During his address, the president also said the door to diplomacy was still open to Iran.
He said: “The United States and the international community seek a resolution to our differences with Iran, and the doors remain open to diplomacy, should Iran choose to opt for it.”
Despite that plea, Obama insisted Tehran had to demonstrate a clear and credible commitment to show the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.