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Mubarak: Delay West Bank settlements

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is urging Israel to curb West Bank settlement construction for three more months to give peacemaking a chance.

Egypt's leader says he has urged Israel to curb West Bank settlement construction for three more months to give peacemaking a chance.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the delay could give the two sides time to draft their future borders. After those lines are agreed, Mubarak reasoned, Israel can build within its future borders and the Palestinians within theirs.

His comments were carried in excerpts from an upcoming interview broadcast on Israel Radio.

Netanyahu's office said Thursday that Israel doesn't plan to extend the building restrictions currently in place. They are due to expire in late September.

Netanyahu has indicated, however, that some restrictions would be applied.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama had already called on Netanyahu to extend the 10-month Israeli government curb on construction. The settlements are being built in areas that Palestinians expect would form the bulk of their sovereign state. 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he will walk out of talks if Israel resumes construction when the slowdown expires at the end of this month.

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