As reports circulate that Israel, as the Associated Press says, "has quietly moved to halt new housing projects in the West Bank, while outwardly rebuffing U.S. pressure to stop construction in its settlements," the Israeli ambassador to the United States tells NPR that his country "would like to see some quid pro quo from the Arab side." Here's some of Ambassador Michael Oren's conversation with ATC co-host Robert Siegel (the first voice is Robert's):
Later in the conversation, Oren says that Israel is still going to allow settlers to expand the homes they already have. He calls it "normal life construction":
Also during the interview, Oren says U.S.-Israeli relations have not soured since President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office:
Obama met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the White House today. The U.S. leader said of the Arabs and Israelis that "everybody has to take steps," and that both sides "have to take risks" to achieve peace.
There will be more from Robert's conversation with the ambassador on ATC today. Click here to find an NPR station near you.