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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More