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Egypt: Israeli freeze must include east Jerusalem

Egypt's foreign minister says east Jerusalem must be included in a freeze of Israeli settlement activity before Middle East peace talks can restart.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Egypt's foreign minister says east Jerusalem must be included in a freeze of Israeli settlement activity before Middle East peace talks can restart.

Ahmed Aboul-Gheit told reporters in Stockholm on Friday that Jerusalem is Arab "and it will continue to be so."

He said the Arab world expects the area to be included in a moratorium on Israeli settlements.

The Obama administration has hinted it may be backing down on its insistence that Israel halt all settlement activity as a condition for restarting peace talks with the Palestinians.

U.S. officials have denied Israeli media reports that Washington has agreed to leave East Jerusalem out of the agreement and settle for a nine- to 12-month freeze in the West Bank.