The United States said on Monday it was disappointed by Israel's decision to allow its partial moratorium on construction in Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank to expire.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters U.S. Middle East envoy former U.S. Senator George Mitchell was in touch with Israeli and Palestinian officials and a lower-level U.S. team would visit the region this week for follow-up talks.
"We are disappointed, but we remain focused on our long-term objective, and we'll be talking to the parties about the implications of the Israeli decision," Crowley told reporters.
"We recognize that given the decision yesterday we've still got a dilemma that we have to resolve and there are no direct negotiations scheduled at this point but we will be in touch with the parties to see how we move ahead," Crowley said.
Crowley said that he hoped the Arab League will continue to support direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks following Israel's decision to allow its partial settlement building freeze to expire
"We will have further conversations with key countries in the coming days and we hope that the Arab League meeting will continue to affirm its support for the process," Crowley told reporters.
Crowley said the U.S. is focused on its long-term goal of promoting negotiations on a two-state solution in which an independent Palestinian state exists beside a secure Israel. Crowley encouraged constructive actions toward reaching that goal.