Kouchner: Israel divided on settlements

July 11, 2009 at 12:16 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, July 11 (UPI) -- Disagreements within the Israeli government are preventing a plan to stop the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, France's foreign minister says.

The Lebanese daily newspaper an-Nahar said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner made the comments to officials in Beirut during a visit Friday, the Israeli Web site Ynetnews.com reported.

An-Nahar reported Kouchner as saying France and the United States support an end to settlement building in the occupied West Bank, but "central pillars of the Israeli government" are in disagreement on the matter, complicating the efforts and preventing the drafting of a united stance on the issue.

Kouchner reportedly said U.S. President Barack Obama has given Israel a six-month grace period to respond to his call for an end to the West Bank settlements, adding that the possibility of a regional peace conference to be held in Moscow in coming months has been ruled out, Ynetnews reported.

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