World News

Kerry, Hague try to Revive Mideast Talks

The top diplomats of the United States and Britain have made a joint attempt to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks by shuttling between Jerusalem and Ramallah to meet the leaders of both sides.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague held separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, saying they hope to make progress in restarting the negotiations.

Kerry later met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah while Hague was due to meet the Palestinian leader shortly afterward.



Kerry praised what he called Mr. Netanyahu's "seriousness" and "personal energy" in trying to find a path to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which have been largely frozen since late 2008.

The top U.S. diplomat said he understands skepticism and even cynicism in the region about the long-stalled peace talks.



"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 (and) certainly exhaust the possibilities of peace."



Mr. Netanyahu told Kerry that Israel wants to restart the peace talks "above all" and hopes the Palestinians want to do the same, adding that "where there is a will, we will find a way."

Mr. Abbas says he will not negotiate with Israel until it suspends Jewish settlement construction on occupied land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - areas Palestinians claim for an independent Palestinian state.

Mr. Netanyahu has said settlement construction will continue and he is ready to negotiate without preconditions.

British Foreign Secretary Hague began his meeting with Mr. Netanyahu by saying London will support Kerry's Mideast peace efforts.


"We urged all parties to move the process forward and to really give the bold and decisive leadership that will allow success to happen and avoid steps that undermine it and I welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu's clear commitment to a two-state solution.''


Speaking alongside Hague, the Israeli prime minister also raised the issue of Iran's controversial nuclear program.


"Despite the economic and diplomatic pressures, the international community has so far been unable to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear weapons program. Obviously this is the biggest challenge facing us. I think it is the biggest challenge of our times."


Israel, Britain and other Western powers accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian energy program. Tehran says its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Hague traveled to Ramallah later Thursday for talks with Mr. Abbas.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs