LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May has taken the unusual step of distancing her government from President Barack Obamas criticism of Israel.
A spokesman for May said the British government does not think it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally.
The comments made on Thursday were in response to US Secretary of State Johns Kerrys outspoken speech challenging the Israeli governments policy on settlement expansion and other issues.
Mays spokesman, speaking anonymously in line with government rules, said it was wrong to focus solely on the settlement issue when the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is so complex.
The comments bring Britains government more closely into line with the view of president-elect Donald Trump, who has said the Obama administration is being far too harsh toward Israel.
A US State Department spokesperson, speaking anonymously in line with government policy, said the US was surprised by Mays statement since Kerrys remarks were in line with the UKs own longstanding policy.
The spokesperson said Kerrys speech had generated support from many countries including Germany, France, Jordan, Egypt and others
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