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White House says new Israeli settlements 'may not be helpful'
Washington (AFP) - The White House said Thursday that building new Israeli settlements or expanding existing ones "may not be helpful" in securing Middle East peace.
"While we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful," said spokesman Sean Spicer.
The statement is a break from Trump's previously full-throated defense of Israeli settlement building.
Since Trump came to office Israel has approved a slew of new settlement constructions.
Israel recently unveiled plans for 3,000 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, the fourth such announcement in the less than two weeks since Trump took office.
Critics say the constructions risk making a two-state solution impossible.
The idea of an Israeli and Palestinian state coexisting has underpinned peace efforts for decades.
Settlements in both the West Bank and east Jerusalem are viewed as illegal under international law and major stumbling blocks to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians want for their own state.
Quang Ninh: Cross-border trade flourishes
The value of exports going through the border gate in the period reached US$855 million, up 186.1% against January last year, Vice Chairman of the Mong Cai City People’s Committee Nguyen Tien Dung said. The Mong Cai border gate’s customs section said the agency approved 2,806 customs declarations from export and import enterprises from January 1-February 4, with a total value of US$2.9 billion, collecting VND45.66 billion (over US$2 million) for the State budget. Minh Thang Port, which is owned… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Brexit bill set to clear major parliamentary hurdle
London (AFP) - MPs look set to approve a bill on Wednesday empowering Prime Minister Theresa May to start Brexit negotiations, in a major step towards Britain leaving the European Union.Seven months after the historic referendum vote to leave the 28-nation bloc, the House of Commons is expected to grant its approval for May to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty.The bill must now still pass through the House of Lords, where there may be more opposition from unelected peers less… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Delays in ODA-funded projects drag Vietnam's economy down
A worker arranges steel structures at a construction site of an apartment in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/ Nguyen Huy Kham Vietnam has received $4.9 billion in official development assistance (ODA) and other forms of preferential loans so far this year, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said in a new report, adding that the amount was 1.8 times higher than the same period last year. The country is set to spend about $22 billion from ODA and other low-interest loans, including $4.75 billion… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Obama pardons last turkey in Thanksgiving tradition
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HCM City to host Vietnam Coffee Day in December
According to the association, VCCA is collaborating with Vietnam Entrepreneur Development Centre and Business and Investment magazine to hold the first ever festival in Vietnam to marking the 55th anniversary of Uncle Ho’s visit to Dong Hieu coffee farm in Nghe An province on December 10, 1961. It also aims to promote coffee brand development domestically and internationally and create an attractive playground and increased opportunities to promote products and stimulate market demand for… chat_bubble_outline Read More...