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

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid