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January 6, 2012 11:52 am

EXCLUSIVE: Rick Santorum Explains West Bank Comments

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Rick Santorum. Photo: iowapolitics.com

With brighter lights shining on him since the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum’s views on major political issues are receiving more attention than ever.  One of those issues is the West Bank, and in regards to comments he made six weeks ago about the contested territory, The Algemeiner spoke with Santorum.

“Here is my position on this and the reason I answered it the way I did, that area which is part of Israel which was taken justifiably via war is up to the State of Israel to determine its fate.” When asked if he would advocate for the annexation of the territories he said, “when you you say “would I advocate for” the answer is no, I wouldn’t “advocate for” I would be working with my ally and supporting them in what they determine is in the best interests of their country.”

The former Pennsylvania Senator made a strong showing in Iowa’s caucuses earlier this week, coming in second to Mitt Romney by just 8 votes.  Now that he’s been thrust into the national spotlight even further, Santorum’s views on foreign policy are of greater importance to the American public as they help decide who will become the Republican nominee for President.

In our interview with the Presidential hopeful, Santorum explained what his approach would be, in dealing with the Israeli government on the issue of settlements in the West Bank.

“I would not be as previous Presidents have,” he continued “pushing the Israelis toward a particular result, because we believe it is in the best interests of our country or some sort of ‘Peace,’ that we have determined is in the best interests of Israel and the region.” Santorum concluded “so my position has been that this is all Israeli territory, it was gained through legitimate means, and they have the right of determining what happens to that ground and to the people who live there.”

Israel’s control of The West Bank is one of the primary issues of concern related to negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, including the status of such land within any peace agreement.  Negotiators from the two sides will be meeting in Jordan next Monday, although neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas will be attending.

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