Mideast Crisis Looms over Israeli Settlements

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Days before the Middle East peace talks are set to continue in Egypt and Jerusalem, there are concerns that disagreements over Israel's settlement slowdown could suspend those talks.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beitenu party, said his party would block any extension of Israel's West Bank partial settlement moratorium.

"Yisrael Beitenu has enough power in the government and in parliament to make sure that no such proposal succeeds," he told Israeli Army Radio in an interview Monday.

The talks have been tentatively scheduled for September 14 in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"We'd be thrilled if a peace agreement were achieved that includes the entire Middle East, but I'm trying to stay aligned with reality and that means that what we need now is a long-term temporary arrangement," he said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said if the slowdown is not extended, his nation will quit the talks.

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