Clinton Clarifies Stance on Israeli Settlements

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put to rest Wednesday any fears from Arab counties that U.S. policy on Israeli settlements is shifting.

During her Middle East trip this week, Arab governments have been criticizing comments she made in Jerusalem about Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The Arab nations believe her comments showed a tilting of U.S. policy in favor of Israel. However, during a Wednesday press conference in Egypt Clinton made it clear U.S. policy isn't shifting.

"Our policy on settlements has not changed. I want to say that again. Our policy on settlement activity has not changed. We do not accept the legitimacy of settlement activity, and we have a very firm belief that ending all settlement activity, current and future, would be preferable," she said.

Clinton also said that the Israeli offer to restrain, but not halt construction represents positive movement forward in resuming peace talks.

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