WORLDPOST
05/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Clinton Calls Israel Rift A Challenge

(AP) MOSCOW - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described a rift with Israel over a Jerusalem construction project as a challenge, avoiding criticism of Tel Aviv.

Clinton on Thursday called for a relaunch of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis in an effort to achieve a two-state solution. She said the U.S. is still committed to brokering a peace deal.

She is in Moscow for talks among the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators -- the U.S., Russia, the EU and the U.N.

Hopes for talks faded last week after Israel announced the construction of 1,600 apartments for Jews in disputed east Jerusalem, during an official visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

The announcement caused a diplomatic crisis, and Clinton last week called the plan a "a deeply negative signal."