News / Middle East

Kerry Cites Some Progress in Mideast Talks

Kerry Cites Some Progress in Mideast Peace Talksi
January 05, 2014 7:35 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is briefing has briefed leaders in Jordan and Saudi Arabia on his latest efforts to boost Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Kerry said Sunday before leaving Israel that some progress has been made, but much work needs to be done.
Scott Bobb
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has briefed leaders in Jordan and Saudi Arabia on his latest efforts to boost the Israeli - Palestinian peace talks.  Kerry said Sunday, before leaving Israel, that some progress has been made but much work still needs to be done. 

Secretary of State Kerry arrived in Jordan following four days of intensive talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Before leaving Jerusalem, he told reporters that his conversations had been intensive and productive.

"We are not there yet but we are making progress, and we are beginning to flesh out the toughest hurdles yet to be the overcome," he said.

Kerry met three times with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.  He told reporters afterwards the parties were discussing a framework to guide negotiations on a final settlement.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said this should include all the core issues.

“No one benefits more from the success of Secretary Kerry's efforts than the Palestinians. And no one stands to lose more of [from] failure than Palestinians," he said.

Kerry also met three times with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who praised Kerry’s efforts, but said at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting that serious concerns remain.

He said the Palestinians continued to resist recognition of the Jewish state, "our right to be here."  The Israeli leader said there were many other issues, but that was a fundamental problem.

An analyst at the U.S. Institute for Peace (Center for Conflict Management), Neil Kritz, said Kerry’s proposed framework was aimed at building trust and confidence on both sides.

“That hopefully is one of the pieces that can push them to make the decisions, commit to certain measures that they are not willing to or able to do at their own initiative,” said Kritz.

Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars said no one wanted to be blamed for the failure of the talks, but this did not ensure that they would succeed.

“It is all about whether or not this satisfies the individual and national interests of these leaders, not John Kerry’s personality.  He can be the facilitator or the bridge but in the end this will rise and fall, if it is meaningful, on the basis of whether or not Abbas and Netanyahu believe that it is in their own interests and they can sell it.  And that is going to be driven largely by the substance,” he said.

Kerry said he plans to brief the Arab League on the talks and is to return soon for more discussions.

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Comment Sorting
by: Dennis from: UK
January 05, 2014 11:41 PM
I would wish that the Israelis would assert their sovereignty more forcefully... and stop worry about what the UN might say about them... the UN is a corrupt and decrepit organization of third world reprobates... Jordan is in the "security council" JORDAN!!! I remember when Syria was heading the Human Rights section of the US... SYRIA!!! LOL

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Abeokuta Nigeria
January 05, 2014 10:07 PM
With all due respect to all efforts put in this peace talk I know we have not heard of the end between Israelis and the Palestinians come 50 years from now,my major concern is the importance of not allowing Iran to take part in the Geneva 2 talk on ways to end Syria's conflict because Iran's action helped fuel the syrian conflict and the continues involvement will worsen the war and will forcefully drag them in deeper,the White house allowing Iran to take part clearly proves the administration's weakness by giving in to another Russian pressure making Obama appear week in his words AGAIN.

by: Dr. S. Fields from: USA
January 05, 2014 6:22 PM
its absolutely amazing to me... its the Israelis who should deny recognition to the Philistines... Israel is already a fact... if the Arabs will deny this fact - let them live in their own cherished illusions....

and after all this BS the Arabs will still want to destroy Israel...

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