World Pompeo announces reversal of longstanding US policy on Israeli settlements
Pompeo slams Iran 'intimidation' of IAEA inspector as 'outrageous'
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday slammed Tehran's treatment of an inspector with the UN's nuclear watchdog agency last week as "an outrageous and unwarranted act of intimidation." "The United States fully supports the IAEA's monitoring and verification activities in Iran, and we are alarmed at Iran's lack of adequate cooperation," Pompeo said in a statement.The top US diplomat said Iran "detained" the inspector, who the International Atomic Energy Agency has said had been briefly prevented from leaving Iran.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced a major reversal of the US' longstanding policy on Israeli settlements in the, rejecting a 1978 State Department legal opinion that deemed the settlements "inconsistent with international law."
Court says EU states must label Israeli settlement products
The European Union's top court ruled Tuesday that EU countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements on their labels, in a decision welcomed by rights groups but likely to spark anger in Israel. The European Court of Justice said that "foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin."The European Court of Justice said that "foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin.
The announcement, which breaks with international law and consensus, is the latest in a string of hardline, pro-Israeli moves that are likely to inflame tensions between the Trump administration and Palestinians and widen the divide between the Trump administration and traditional US allies in Europe.
"After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan: the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law," Pompeo said, citing President Ronald Reagan's 1981 assessment that the settlements were not "inherently illegal."
Pompeo said the US government is "expressing no view on the legal status of any individual settlement" or "addressing or prejudging the ultimate status of the West Bank."
Pompeo declines to defend ex-U.S. ambassador after Trump attack
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he was proud of what the United States had done in Ukraine and declined to defend former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch who was attacked on Twitter by President Donald Trump. "I'll defer to the White House about particular statements and the like. I don't have anything else today about the Democrats' impeachment proceedings," he said in response to a question about whether he agreed with Trump's negative assessment of Yovanovitch."If somebody else has a substantive question about something that the world cares deeply about then I'm happy to take it.
He said the conclusion was "based on the unique facts, history and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank."
An administration official said the State Department has been working toward this decision for nearly a year in coordination with the White House's peace team, which is led by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. The official said the move does not change the administration's position that continued settlement construction is not conducive to Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The administration first planned to make the announcement last week, but held off amid anbetween Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel, the official said.
The announcement is likely to further imperil the prospects for the Trump administration's long-touted but yet to be announced Middle East peace plan. Palestinian officials have dismissed the US' role as an arbiter in any peace negotiations given the Trump administration's policy moves. Under President Donald Trump, the US moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, shuttered the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, and slashed funding to the Palestinians.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
More than 100 Dems send Pompeo letter strongly opposing Israeli settlement policy shift .
More than 100 Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday rebuking the State Department’s decision to stop considering Israeli settlements a violation of international law. © FoxNews.com The move will likely anger Palestinians and put the U.S. at odds with other nations working to end the conflict; reaction from Amy Jaffe, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., wrote the letter to Pompeo on Thursday “strongly” urging him “to reverse this policy decision immediately.
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