European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, stated that the new Israeli decision to announce bids for new constructions meant at expanding two Israeli settlements in occupied Jerusalem, is regrettable and leads to further complicates the situation.Ashton was referring to a new Israeli decision to announce bids for the construction of an additional 1,250 units in the two settlements.

The EU official further stated that peace talks are the best way to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and that these talks should lead to a solution based on Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 border.

She added that unilateral actions by any party should not determine the outcome of the peace process, and said that the expansion of settlements just complicates all international diplomatic efforts that are meant at resuming the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

Ashton reiterated the fact that Israel’s in the occupied territories are illegitimate under international law, in addition to the fact that Israel’s settlement activities are nullifying the two-state solution.

The official also said that the European Union repeatedly urged Israel to halt all of its settlement activities in the West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem, in compliance with the Road Map peace plan.