Norway:Mideast Solution Under Pressure

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Norway's foreign minister says a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "is under pressure" as he left Oslo for a visit to the Middle East.

Borge Brende says "only a two-state solution can lead to lasting peace between the parties."

He says "a sustainable Palestinian economy and well-functioning institutions are essential preconditions for the two-state solution."

Brende is meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.

Norway, like neighboring Sweden, has expressed concern that Israel will allow expanded construction in major West Bank settlements. Jerusalem has said it will limit new settlement construction in the West Bank "when possible" to within areas already developed or at least to contiguous areas.