News / Middle East

    Kerry Meets Abbas in West Bank

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on July 19, 2013 in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on July 19, 2013 in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
    VOA News
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Ramallah, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his ongoing effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    The meeting Friday comes as the top U.S. diplomat extended his trip to the region and follows talks earlier in the day in Jordan with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

    Kerry has praised both Israel and the Palestinians for narrowing their differences, but the two sides reportedly remain at odds over restarting the talks, which collapsed in 2010.

    Palestinians are demanding Israeli guarantees about the general border of a future Palestinian state before agreeing to hold the talks. Israel wants to begin the talks immediately, refusing to make concessions first.

    The White House says President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to ask him to work with Kerry to "resume negotiations with the Palestinians as soon as possible."

    This is Kerry's sixth peacemaking trip to the Middle East since he became secretary of state earlier this year.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 19, 2013 1:32 PM
    I once a read a book titled: "She Who Must Be Obeyed". This appears to be the Palestinians' new title and posture, the non-existent state that must be obeyed. But that should be wrong to assume that everybody should bow down to the caprices of an arrogant people pampered to the point of making a butterfly see itself as a bird. Talks must start without a precondition except that of mutual respect and security. If we must wait for every condition to be right for the talks to take off, then it will never be. At the end it will be decided in the court of jungle justice. Even now, that appears to be the best solution until all of the Arabs, Persians and Ottoman citizens - the Turks - occupying Gaza relocate to their towns of origin. If preconditions are to form basis for restarting the talks, then there will be need to go beyond the 1967 borders to decide who really owns the land, including in Ramallah, since the land did not spring into existence in 1967.

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