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Kerry Discusses Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks With Arab League

July 17, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and senior Arab League officials Wednesday discussed efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, aides said.

The diplomats also discussed rising tensions in Egypt during their meeting in Amman, Jordan, where Kerry also was scheduled to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah, Voice of America reported.

The top U.S. diplomat also was considering a possible visit to a Syrian refugee camp, VOA said.

Kerry has visited the region six times since becoming secretary of state this year, and has made resurrecting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations a top priority.

While saying talks last month with officials from both sides produced progress, Kerry doesn't plan to meet with Israeli officials on this trip. He met Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the peace process, as well as efforts to boost the Palestinian economy and other developments in the Middle East.

Abbas has said he would not return to the talks until Israel suspends Jewish settlement construction on occupied land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem -- areas Palestinians have claimed for an independent state.

During an emergency ministerial meeting Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized new European Union guidelines that ban EU members from funding Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, VOA said.

Netanyahu said Israel wouldn't accept any "external edicts" about its borders and such decisions would be resolved only through direct talks with the Palestinians.

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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