Appeal for talks to continue as settlement freeze ends

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu has called for "expedited, honest talks" with the Palestinians to continue as the ten-month-long settlement construction freeze came to an end.

In a statement, the Israeli Prime Minister said: "Israel is ready to pursue continuous contacts in the coming days to find a way to continue peace talks."

US officials also urged the negotiations to continue despite the expiry of the moratorium.

A spokesman for the State Department, PJ Crowley, said: "We remain in close touch with both parties and will be meeting them again in the coming days.

"We remain focused on the goal of advancing negotiations.”

Although Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had previously warned that he would abandon talks if the freeze was not extended, he has now said he will remain in the negotiations for the time being.

Last updated: 9:47am, September 27 2010