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Obama calls on Israel to extend settlement freeze

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Obama calls on Israel to extend settlement freeze

Obama calls on Israel to extend settlement freeze
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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.