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Kerry Meets Israeli, Palestinian Leaders in Peace Talks Push

A U.S. effort to revive Israel-Palestinian peace talks continues Monday with Secretary of State John Kerry holding talks with both Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Kerry is taking part in a ceremony marking Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day before meetings with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

The U.S. State Department has said Kerry will press for confidence building gestures by the two sides, whose leaders have not held peace talks since short-lived negotiations in September 2010. Kerry is not expected to propose any formal U.S. peace initiatives to the parties.

His trip to the region has already included talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.



At a joint Sunday news conference with Davutoglu in Istanbul, Kerry said Washington wants its allies Turkey and Israel to restore full diplomatic ties and sees that relationship as important to regional stability and restarting the peace talks.

Kerry said the two nations should finalize an agreement on Israel's compensation to Turkey for a deadly Israeli military raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish vessel carrying pro-Palestinian activists in 2010. He said both sides also should return ambassadors to their respective embassies.

Secretary Kerry said the United States and Turkey share the goal of a peaceful transition of power in Syria. He also said Ankara has been "generous" in its support of Syrian refugees within Turkey's borders.

The United Nations estimates that more than 250,000 Syrians are living in Turkish camps after fleeing Syria over the past two years.

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