News / Middle East

    Kerry: Israel, Palestinians Must Decide Whether to Resume Peace Talks

    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
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    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
    VOA News
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says it is up to Israel and the Palestinians to decide if they want to resume Middle East peace talks.

    Kerry met Wednesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in London for "informal" talks, according to U.S. officials. It was their first face-to-face meeting since Kerry's failed attempt to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal last month.

    A State Department official said Kerry reiterated U.S. support for the Palestinian people, but also said that Kerry said the Palestinian government must recognize Israel, commit to non-violence, and abide by previous agreements.

    Watch related video report by VOA's Meredith Buel:
     
    US Congress Debates Cutting Off Palestinian Aidi
    X
    Meredith Buel
    May 15, 2014 12:06 AM
    Members of the U.S. Congress are debating whether to cutoff hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority after the recent collapse in peace talks with Israel. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

    The secretary of state made clear that while the door remains open to peace, it is up to the parties to determine whether they are willing to take the steps necessary to resume negotiations. He again urged both sides to refrain from unhelpful steps.

    They also discussed recent Palestinian political developments, and Abbas provided the Secretary with an update on the ongoing reconciliation process.

    Meanwhile, Congress is debating whether to block millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority because of its plans to form a unity government with Hamas -- the Islamic militants who govern Gaza. The United States and Israel consider Hamas a terrorist group.

    Israel left the peace process because of the deal with Hamas. The Palestinians were angered over continued Israeli settlement activity in areas they want as part of a future state.

    The talks ended last month, missing Kerry's deadline for a framework peace agreement.

    Kerry is in London for the British-sponsored Friends of the Syrian People meeting. Ministers from 11 countries will talk about efforts to ease the humanitarian suffering in Syria, support for the moderate opposition, and ways to push for a political transition.

    They also plan to talk about other global matters, including Ukraine.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Bill2612
    May 15, 2014 9:48 AM
    Lost cause. Abbas doesn't want to wind up like Sadat and no incentive for Israel to end the stalemate.

    by: Sam from: Tampa fl
    May 14, 2014 10:20 PM
    As we all know the truth is that it was Israel failed to meet its obligations and constant settlement construction which was the cause of the breakdown in peace talks. The result of that breakdown is the unity govt with Hamas. Probably for the better though.

    by: guy from: Murica
    May 14, 2014 9:35 PM
    Cool story. Especially how you blame the Palestinians for trying to unify, and totally ignore that Israel broke their end of the deal first by "delaying" the promised prisoner release.

    I'm so glad American state news isn't biased like those dirty Russians and Chinese.

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