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Middle East Digest - July 8, 2009


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Washington, DC
July 8, 2009

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The Middle East Digest provides text and audio from the Daily Press Briefing. For the full briefings, please visit daily press briefings.

From the Daily Press Briefing of July 8, 2009

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12:50 p.m. EDT

QUESTION: There are U.S. reports from an Israeli newspaper that the Israeli Government and the United States Government have struck a deal which would allow the construction or the completion of 2,500 more settlements in the West Bank, this while Secretary Clinton is calling, in no uncertain terms --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- for a complete freeze. Any comments? Is that true?

MR. KELLY: No, that report, and that Israeli media outlet, is inaccurate. What I can say is that Senator Mitchell and Defense Minister Barak did have good, productive discussions, but our position has not changed. And that’s that – our position that all parties have the responsibility to create the context that will support the renewed negotiations toward a comprehensive peace in the region. And our bottom line is the same, it has not changed; and that’s that all parties in the region have to honor their obligations. And you know what our position is regarding settlements.

QUESTION: So there’s no --

MR. KELLY: This activity has to stop. This is laid out in the Roadmap. So the reports aren’t accurate.

QUESTION: Can I follow up on that?

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Will Mitchell meet with Netanyahu next?

MR. KELLY: I’m not prepared to announce any specific date, but I do believe that Senator Mitchell plans to go to Israel soon. I just don’t have a date for you yet.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:12 p.m.)

DPB # 114

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