News / Middle East

Kerry: Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Back On

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, July 19, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, July 19, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Israel and the Palestinians appear headed back to negotiations in the hopes of settling long-standing differences.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement in Amman, Jordan Friday, after returning from a trip to Ramallah and a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

 "We have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct, final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis," he said. "This is a significant and welcome step forward."  

Kerry said some details are still being worked out but that if all goes well, Palestinians and Israeli officials will travel to Washington for initial talks within the next week or two.

VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns was with Kerry in Amman.

“He [Kerry] has kept this entire process very quiet and again said that candid, private conversations are the very best way to give these negotiations a chance,” Stearns said.

Kerry also praised both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas for making some difficult choices.

"The representatives of two proud peoples today have decided that the difficult road ahead is worth traveling," he said.

This is the sixth trip Kerry has made to the Middle East since becoming secretary of state earlier this year.  He was originally scheduled to have flown back to the U.S. already.  He extended his stay after sensing an agreement to restart talks was within reach.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2010.

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."

Earlier this week, in Jordan, Kerry met with  representatives of Arab states that support a comprehensive peace plan.  He said many of the Arab League ministers told him "the core issue of instability in this region and in many other parts of the world is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

Kerry has been urging both Israel and the Palestinians to be cautious and to avoid any actions or statements that might undermine their progress.

VOA's Scott Stearns says Kerry also intends to keep tight control of the proceedings.

“He [Kerry] said that any speculation that anyone would have before that process is finalized would be pure conjecture and not facts," he said.  "He said that both sides in this agreement have agreed that he, Secretary Kerry, will be the only one to speak about this until the agreement is made.”

But Kerry said Friday he remains optimistic.

"This is not up to chance.  It's up to the Israeli people and the Palestinian people and no one else," he said. "So knowing that the road ahead will be difficult, and the challenges that the parties face will be daunting, we will call on everybody to act in the best of faith and push forward."

Earlier this week,  Kerry said the proposed plan aims to show both sides the benefits of peace, and, in particular, the impact some proposals could have on the Palestinian economy.  He said programs being considered as part of the plan could reduce unemployment in the Palestinian territory from 21 percent to 8 percent over the next three years while also doubling the GDP [Gross Domestic Product].

VOA's Scott Stearns says, ultimately, for the negotiations to succeed, the sides will have to answer a familiar question.

“The basis of these talks all along has been the 2002 Arab League Peace Initiative, which was modified earlier this year to allow for land swaps to account for Israeli settlements post-1967," he said. "So the detail then would be - is Israel going to be able to keep all of its settlements once that final map is drawn and what will Israel then give up in those land swaps to account for the post-1967 settlements that it will keep.”

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid