Brazil leader urges freeze on Israeli settlements

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2009 11:57 AM

Brazil's President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva is joining his Palestinian counterpart in calling on Israel to stop building new settlements in areas claimed by Palestinians.

Silva says that his country "understands that any new settlement in Palestinian territory should immediately be halted." He says the expansion of settlements should be frozen and Palestinian borders of the future guaranteed.

Silva spoke Friday after a meeting with Palestine Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, who also plans to visit Argentina and Chile.

Silva earlier told two local radio stations that the United Nations should coordinate Middle East negotiations _ not the U.S., which he said is "one of those responsible" for the crisis.