News Column

Kerry seeks to Restart Israeli-Palistinian Talks

June 28, 2013
John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in the Middle East to try to restart talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Thursday and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan Friday, leaving time in his schedule for a possible return trip to Israel, The Washington Post reported.

On Thursday, State Department officials denied reports of a face-to-face meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas.

The formula Kerry is proffering calls for a series of meetings between Netanyahu and Abbas, some of which would be attended by the secretary of state, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The talks would be considered only part of the efforts to restart the peace process, not an actual renewal of negotiations, which would allow Abbas to circumvent preconditions he had set and avoid criticism, the Post said.

Kerry, who has been ardent about the need to resume talks before the end of the summer, arrived in Amman on Wednesday for his fifth visit to the region this year. After lunch with Jordan's King Abdullah II, his convoy departed for Jerusalem.

Netanyahu was about an hour late for the dinner he and Kerry planned at the David Citadel Hotel, the Post said. Netanyahu said he was delayed by a graduation ceremony for Israeli military pilots.

After the meeting ended, a senior administration official said discussions were "productive, in-depth and wide-ranging."

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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