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Kerry to Attend Meeting to Restart Mideast Peace Talks

  • VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 19, 2016.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 19, 2016.

Resuming talks aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be the focus of a meeting next month in Paris.

The effort is to determine whether Israel and the Palestinians can “ultimately see their way to a final status agreement that meets the needs of the parties, the needs of the region and provide some peace and stability," according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who will attend the June 3 meeting.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told France's foreign minister that Israel is opposed to the meeting, which France proposed out of frustration after negotiations to seek a two-state Israeli-Palestinian solution collapsed in 2014.

Despite past failures to reach a Middle East peace accord, Kerry said resuming the process remains “an enormously high priority. President Obama remains deeply committed to it, and so do I.”

But Kerry said in order for a Middle East peace accord to be reached, "there will have to be some compromise" between the Israelis and Palestinians. "There was a long process of trying to make something happen. It didn’t," he acknowledged.

Kerry said he would work with the "global community in good faith," but cautioned, "In the end, the parties have to negotiate. You can't impose it on people, and we're not seeking to do that. What we are seeking to do is help encourage the parties to be able to see a way forward so they can understand that peace is indeed a possibility."

Some material for this report came from AP and Reuters.

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