The administration of President Donald trump warned on Thursday that the new Israeli settlement activity could potentially impede the peace process.
The white house said that has not adopted an official position on Israeli settlements, saying it will wait until trump will not meet with Netanyahu later this month to discuss the issue.
"Although we do not believe that the existence of the settlements is an obstacle to peace, the construction of new settlements or expand existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be useful in achieving this goal," said the press Secretary of the White house Sean Spicer.
"The trump has not adopted an official position on settlement activities and looks forward to continued discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he meets with President trump later this month," said Spicer.
Secretary Rex Tillerson spoke with Netanyahu on Thursday, said the state Department. Tillerson "stressed the firm commitment of America its key allies and partners as it works to protect the interests and safety of the American people," reads the state Department statement, adding that Tillerson also spoke with his German, Mexican and canadian colleagues.
Netanyahu will visit the White house for talks on February 15. Israel has announced a great new extension projects shortly after trump was sworn in. Trump has criticized the previous administration for what the resolution of the UN security Council condemned the settlements of Israel. This move drove a wedge between incoming and outgoing administrations during the transition period after trump spoke against the resolution.
Israel has since announced new plans to build settlements in the West Bank, replacing the illegal construction of the Outpost of Amona, which was demolished this week. The new settlement will be the first for almost 20 years in the West Bank and the creation of thousands of homes in the district is seen as an attempt by Netanyahu to placate his right base on the result of the evacuation of the Outpost of Amona. President Barack Obama sharply criticized settlement activity, in the position that caused friction between him and Netanyahu. Trump, meanwhile, signalled a more tolerant view, calling the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who supports the expansion of settlements.
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