Hillary Clinton 'frustrated' at Middle East deadlock

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LONDON. December 11. KAZINFORM US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed frustration at the latest setback to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but insisted that the US would continue to push for progress.

She vowed to promote indirect talks on "core issues" including borders, settlements, refugees and Jerusalem.

Direct talks were set up with great fanfare by President Barack Obama.

But earlier this week the US abandoned efforts to persuade Israel to stop new construction of Jewish settlements.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians resumed in September after a break of almost two years.

But they were suspended within weeks when Israel decided not to extend the 10-month freeze on settlement building in the West Bank.

Ms Clinton said the time had come to "grapple with the core issues of this conflict: on borders and security, settlements, water and refugees and on Jerusalem itself."

She was making her first comments on the deadlock since Washington said it had abandoned efforts to persuade Israel to stop the construction of new Jewish settlements - something which the Palestinians are insisting on before direct talks can progress, BBC News reports.

See www.bbc.co.uk

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