News / Middle East

Kerry Returns to Mideast to Press for Talks

Kerry Returns to Mideast Pushing for Israeli/Palestinian Talksi
X
July 16, 2013 2:34 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is back in the Middle East, trying to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to peace talks on a two-state solution. Talks last collapsed in 2010 over continued Israeli settlement building on land it occupied in 1967. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story from the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Kerry Returns to Mideast Pushing for Israeli/Palestinian Talks

— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is back in the Middle East, trying to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to peace talks on a two-state solution. Talks last collapsed in 2010 over continued Israeli settlement building on land it occupied in 1967.

Kerry returns to the region after talks late last month produced what he called real progress. "With a little more work" he believes the start of final status negotiations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "could be within reach."

That work is being done with the help of the so-called Middle East Quartet - the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, and Russia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the effort is based on an Arab League peace initiative, including land swaps so Israel can keep some Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Two-state solution

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said, "I see the role of the international community in the context of the Middle Eastern process as a very high one, and I surely hope that the direct negotiations between the sides will resume, but the international atmosphere and background are also very important for us."

Achieving a two-state solution has been a priority for President Barack Obama.

"A second-term president is always bold because the president is then thinking of his legacy. He is now joined by Secretary Kerry, who is a thoughtful man, a man of gravitas, a man who understands the significance of pulling off a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians," said American University professor Akbar Ahmed.

Ahmed said he believes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands what is at stake. "The Israelis have to always look at the bigger picture, they have to look at the long term. In the long term it is in their interest, in their national interest to have peace and security in that neighborhood," he said.

Getting talks underway

This latest push for peace comes as the Obama administration works to manage expectations from the so-called Arab Spring, says former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer.

"This is a chronic conflict that has so far defied anyone's ability to resolve it, but it has very much affected U.S. interests. We are part of the problem at least as seen through the lens of the Arab street," said Kurtzer.

If Kerry can get talks started, Kurtzer said that will help broader U.S. foreign policy goals.

"I think it will dissipate some of the anger on the Arab street. And it will give us some breathing room to really do what we need to do on other pressing issues like Egypt and Syria," he said.

Kerry meets Wednesday with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and with Arab League officials for an update on Mideast peace efforts and for talks on the war in Syria.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid