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Israeli PM Netanyahu to try to revive Mideast peace process

RIA Novosti


CAIRO, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will on Tuesday discuss with Egyptian authorities the opportunities to revive the Middle East peace process, Egyptian media reported.

During his stay in Cairo, Netanyahu is to meet with President Hosni Mubarak and other key politicians.

The visit will take place against a backdrop of the U.S. administration's efforts to relaunch Arab-Israel peace talks suspended a year ago after an Israel-led military operation in the Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for the White House said Monday the United States opposes Israel's plans to build new homes in East Jerusalem.

"The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved by the parties through negotiations and supported by the international community," Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Under the internationally agreed roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze construction and remove unauthorized outposts built since 2001 from the Palestinian territories.

The issue of settlement construction in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, has been the main obstacle to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians.

The Palestinian National Authority has refused to return to the negotiating table until the construction is completely halted.

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