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EU Condemns Israeli Plan To Expand Settlement In East Jerusalem

A construction site in the settlement of Pisgat Zeev, in occupied East Jerusalem, in February
The European Union has condemned Israel's intent to continue building Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, saying the plan represents a roadblock to international peace efforts.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, said the EU is demanding a total freeze of all settlement activity. He said the EU "will pursue this policy."

The condemnation came as EU foreign ministers met today in Brussels -- a day after Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would not restrict construction in East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu is due to travel to Washington on March 23.

Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb today called Netanyahu's announcement "completely, utterly unacceptable."

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the Israeli settlements are "illegal as well as being a roadblock" on the path to a two-state solution to the Mideast crisis.

compiled from agency reports