UN chief regrets US decision on Israeli settlements

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United Nations, Nov 20 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has regretted Washington’s announcement that Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory will no longer be considered illegal.

“We regret the decision and the announcement made by the United States,” said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman on Tuesday, in response to a question whether the secretary-general was concerned about Washington’s disregard for relevant Security Council resolutions.

The UN position concerning Israeli settlements remains unchanged, said Dujarric.

“As far as we are concerned, we remain guided by relevant Security Council resolutions. We remain committed to supporting the Palestinians and Israelis to achieve lasting and durable peace based on those resolutions,” he told a daily press briefing, Xinhua news agency reported.

Security Council Resolution 2334 states that Israeli settlement activities are a flagrant violation of international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, he said. “And that remains the secretary-general’s position.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that Washington will no longer consider Israel’s West Bank settlements inconsistent with international law, in a reversal to the Obama administration’s position on the issue.

–IANS

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