News / Middle East

Kerry: Israeli, Palestinian Leaders 'Have to Lead' on Peace Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, next to U.S. Ambassador to Algeria Henry Ensher, smiles as he listens to Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, front left across table, Algiers, April 3, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, next to U.S. Ambassador to Algeria Henry Ensher, smiles as he listens to Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, front left across table, Algiers, April 3, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by telephone Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after both sides broke parts of an agreement on talks toward a two-state solution. Kerry is in Algiers, where he discussed prospects for Mideast peace with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra.

Kerry says U.S. negotiators met with Israeli and Palestinian officials in overnight talks that lasted until four in the morning in an effort to move the peace process forward.  

"I think it is a critical moment, obviously," he said. "The dialogue remains open.  There was progress made in narrowing some of the questions that have arisen as a result of the events of the last few days.  But there is still a gap.  But that gap will have to be closed and close fairly soon."

The events of the past few days have been the biggest challenges to eight months of peace talks.  They include the Israeli Cabinet failing to approve the release of a group of Palestinian prisoners and Palestinian officials voting to join 15 international organizations that would draw them closer to enhanced U.N. recognition.

Kerry says Netanyahu and Abbas both understand what the choices are and what the stakes are, as well as their own limits and dynamics.  He says the fight here is not over the fundamental substance of a final status agreement on a two-state solution, but rather over the process to get there.

"It would be a tragedy for both of them, we would say, for them to lose the opportunity to get to those real issues that are the differences of a final status agreement," Kerry said. "A fight over process - how to get into a negotiation - should not stop you from getting into that negotiation.  And so I hope they will consider that very, very carefully."

Kerry says the United States will continue to do everything in its power "to try to bring them together, to find the place of reasonableness, to encourage them to compromise, to show ways in which they might do so.  But in the end, they are the ones who have to say "yes."

"You can facilitate.  You can push," Kerry said. "You can nudge.  But the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises.  The leaders have to lead, and they have to be able to see a moment when it is there."

Each side is accusing the other of violating agreements guiding these U.S.-led talks that are scheduled to stop at the end of this month.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Varoujan Tourian from: USA
April 03, 2014 7:44 PM
There is more meaning in one day of social living of Easterners than in a decade in the violently aggressive Western way of life, especially in the asocial Jew-run USA!! The East has survived for a millions of years because, as humans, they know how to give and take. Some are all give, like Mother Theresa! Some are mostly give like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi. Far too many are far too take than give like the Jew-run Imperial USA that has 1,200 bases around the world and dictates to others even what they should think. And then there are the racist, supremacist, Apartheid, elitist, caitiff Jews whose Jehovah has decreed in over 200 Biblical passages that they are CHOSEN over All others whom the Jews call Gentiles because they are all the leprous other inhabitants of this Earth!!

by: John the Baptist from: Outer Space
April 03, 2014 7:41 PM
UUUMMMMM, John.....these people Hate each other.....for thousands of years. UUUMMMMM............perhaps you can be home eating Heinz Ketchup on a burger?

by: Robert Furst from: Boca Raton, FL
April 03, 2014 7:24 PM
The current administration has failed everywhere else why would either of these parties want to put themselves on the line when any betting person knows all it takes is one attack to stop this whole process.

by: ericbl from: seattle
April 03, 2014 6:42 PM
They HAVE to "lead" because Obama says so???

It's not the way the world works.


by: Anthonybellcambers from: London
April 03, 2014 11:08 AM
The right-wing, Likud government of Binyam NetanyahuI is frightened that the State of Palestine will, by joining UN agencies, be in a position to bring charges of war crimes against the Israeli premier and his military chiefs who were reported by the UNHRC to have authorised and executed the killing of over 300 children under the age of 16, in Gaza, during Operation CastLead, over three bloody weeks from Christmas 2008 to January 2009.

No one has, as yet, been brought before the ICC to face these charges. The spectacle of Israeli politicians, armed and funded by the US congress, in court to face such serious charges would be an acute embarrassment to the White House.

by: JohnWV from: USA
April 03, 2014 9:43 AM
Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, a racist state, and will never accept a non apartheid democracy with a Jewish minority. Continuing illegal annexations, settlement expansion and ethnic cleansing have also precluded any negotiated two state solution. Justice may now be served only by imposing resolution just as involuntary, disruptive and humiliating to Israel as Israel has wreaked upon occupied Palestine for generations. The Jewish State must be forced, by whatever means necessary, to recognize an armed Palestine with externally enforced autonomy, eviction of all settlers, true contiguity encompassing Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem together, neither pinched nor parceled, and pay punitive reparations. American foreign policy may then again serve American interests, not the Jewish state's paranoid pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and racist empire in and beyond the Mideast.

by: bernard swierszcz from: clifton
April 03, 2014 7:41 AM
In my opinion more realistic is on e state solution. Just like European Union. Only the arrogance of the Zionist and the hate built between Arab and Jews make that impossible. Continue apartheid and ethnic-cleaning by Zionist government in Israel is dead end street.
In Response

by: Brenda S. from: Canada
April 03, 2014 10:35 AM
you sound like mild, enlightened, an un-hate filled Iranian Arab... Allahuakbar...!!! LOL

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
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 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 Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
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 Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
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 Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs