News / Middle East

In Mideast, Kerry Looks to Jump-Start Peace Talks

Kerry in Mideast, Looks to Jump-start Peace Talksi
X
May 23, 2013 10:20 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tried to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks during his visit to the Middle East. As VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Kerry met separately Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met separately Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as part of Obama administration efforts to jump-start peace talks.  

Netanyahu commended U.S. Congressional moves to upgrade sanctions against Tehran and recommit the United States to standing with Israel against the threat of Iran's nuclear program.

"But above all," he said, "what we want to do is to restart the peace talks with the Palestinians."

Ahead of their Jerusalem meeting, Kerry said he is grateful for the seriousness with which Netanyahu is working on returning to those talks and appreciative of the personal energy he is putting into helping move forward.

"I know this region well enough to know that there is skepticism, in some quarters there is cynicism and there are reasons for it," Kerry said. "There have been bitter years of disappointment. It is our hope that by being methodical, careful, patient, but detailed and tenacious, that we can lay out a path ahead that can conceivably surprise people but certainly exhaust the possibilities of peace."
 
Kerry met separately with Palestinian President Abbas in the West Bank, but neither man spoke with reporters ahead of those talks.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told a United Nations committee this week that Palestinians are "exerting every possible effort" to see that U.S. peace efforts succeed. He added: "No one benefits more from the success of Secretary Kerry than Palestinians and no one loses more from his failure than Palestinians."

Erekat said "there is a good opportunity now" to get to a two-state solution to the conflict roughly along pre-1967 boundaries.

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 23, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 23, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, gestures while meeting with Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, May 23, 2013.
  • Group photo of leaders at the friends of Syria conference in Amman, Jordan, May 22, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to remarks at a meeting on Syria in Amman, Jordan, May 22, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman, Jordan, May 22, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is greeted by Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Muscat, Oman, May 21, 2013.

Kerry has helped revive an Arab League peace initiative on a two-state solution that includes concessions of land swaps to account for post-1967 Israeli settlements.
Kerry and Netanyahu also discussed the civil war in neighboring Syria and a U.S./Russia initiative to negotiate a transitional authority for Damascus.
 
"Nobody has any illusions about how difficult, complicated, what a steep climb that is," Kerry said. "But we also understand that the killing that is taking place, the massacres that are taking place, the incredible destabilization of Syria is spilling over into Lebanon, into Jordan, and has an impact obviously on Israel."
 
Israel is thought to have attacked weapons shipments inside Syria that were going to Lebanese Hezbollah militants who have increasingly joined the fight alongside troops loyal to embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

While Russia is a co-sponsor of this Syrian peace effort, it remains one of the biggest arms suppliers to the government in Damascus.
 
"S-300 missiles coming from Russia, or other countries, Iran missiles, are destabilizing to the region," Kerry said. "The United States is committed, not only in its defense of Israel, but in its concerns for the region to try to address this issue."

Netanyahu also met Thursday with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and with British Foreign Secretary William Hague. Hague was in Jordan Wednesday with Kerry and officials from nine other countries backing Syria's opposition.

That group agreed to increase its support for opposition groups if Assad does not agree to peace talks.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 23, 2013 11:12 AM
Well. In the region of Judea and Samaria Israel agrees to cede land to children of Ishmael and Esau. Nothing spoil. But the Palestinians should grab this opportunity - if they are serious about two state solution. Otherwise I suggest that Israel should go ahead to accommodate those now living within the region of Judea and Samaria as tenants, though they may not be asked to leave - for onward integration when time cleanses them of barbarism and stone-age fundamentalism. Since Obama understands what's been at play and wants to deal the Palestinians this favor, the Palestinians cannot but dive into it headlong. They really have a brother in Barak Obama.

by: Theresa Rodriguez from: USA
May 23, 2013 10:54 AM
hey JohnVW... you really need to go see a team of psychiatrists... urgently... that is, before you strap some explosives on your children and blow them up.
Israel is part of America... if you don't like it... there are a Billion places to go to where Jews and Christians are not allowed... you will be much happier there...

by: Michael from: USA
May 23, 2013 7:37 AM
Kerry stated, "there have been bitter years of disappointment." The disappointment is the idea both sides have in common and it means that there is a bridge there. Also, the bitter years have not corrupted the disappointment because there does not yet exist an "uber"-disappointment. Kerry is very much worth listening to this week-end

by: JohnWV from: USA
May 23, 2013 6:50 AM
Israel's Mideast malevolence is a purposeful sideshow. It enables the ever increasing Israeli/Jewish control of America's government, finances and military-industrial complex. The Jewish state has occupied not just Palestine, but America too. Our democracy is being methodically destroyed from within and transformed into a world dominating racist ultrapower, the JEWISH STATE OF AMERICA.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs