Expressing disappointment over Israel’s decision to float tenders for new housing complex in East Jerusalem, the U.S. has said that this is contrary to the Direct Talks between the leaders of Israel and Palestine.

“We were disappointed by the announcement of new tenders in East Jerusalem yesterday. It is contrary to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties. We will continue to work as we have to try to create conditions for direct negotiations to resume,” State Department spokesman, P. J. Crowley, told reporters at his daily news conference.

Acknowledging that the U.S. was informed about this by Israel ahead in time, Mr. Crowley said the U.S. told them that this was contrary to what they were trying to do to get direct negotiations resumed.

“Well, we continue to promote direct negotiations as the best way to resolve the conflict and see the emergence of a Palestinian state that meets the aspirations of the Palestinian people and security and stability for Israel and the rest of the region.

As we have said many, many times there are critical issues involved in this process.

They need to be negotiated between the parties, and we oppose unilateral steps on either side,” Mr. Crowley said in response to a question.

The United States, he said, is working intensively with the parties directly to get negotiations to resume.

“We are doing everything in our power and we are making clear to the parties that we want to see this direct negotiation continue, so we’re not focused on what happens. We’re focused on how we can create the conditions that allow the parties to continue,” he said.

“We believe it is in their interest to continue in this process, because otherwise there’s no other avenue to create the state that the Palestinians deserve and the security and stability that the Israelis deserve,” Mr. Crowley said.

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