News / Middle East

Kerry in Jordan to Jumpstart Middle East Peace Talks

Kerry in Jordan to Jumpstart Middle East Peace Talksi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Scott Stearns
March 26, 2014 8:35 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Jordan trying to salvage Mideast peace talks that are threatened by Israeli demands that Palestinians agree to extend the process before Israel releases more prisoners. At stake is a process that has struggled to produce even a framework for future talks. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the Jordanian capital.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Jordan in hopes of jumpstarting Middle East peace talks, just as Arab leaders said they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Kerry met with Jordan's King Abdullah after arriving in Amman Wednesday. He plans to also hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to narrow gaps in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

But at a summit in Kuwait Wednesday, the 22-member Arab League released a statement rejecting any consideration of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Kerry's talks in Amman come ahead of Israel's scheduled release of a fourth round of Palestinian prisoners.   

The releases are part of a deal that led the two sides to resume negotiations last year.  Israel has not confirmed Friday's release will take place, and Palestinian leaders have threatened to walk away from the peace talks if they do not.

Kerry is also due to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, either by phone or video conference.

The parties involved in the peace talks have not publicly discussed the details of the negotiations, but there has been little visible progress on narrowing gaps on major issues. These include the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees, borders and security.

Narrowing gaps

While U.S. officials say Kerry is here to "narrow the gaps" in peace talks, his more immediate challenge is figuring out what each side might be willing to continue if Israel refuses the prisoner release and if Palestinians respond by pushing tougher international sanctions against Israel.

Nothing has taken more of Kerry's time as secretary of state than Mideast peace. And his visit here underscores the seriousness of the threat to that process as he has broken away from President Obama's talks in Europe on the crisis in Ukraine.

American University professor Hillary Mann Leverett says Mideast peace talks are critical for Washington.

"Not only does it calm some of the tensions, allow some confidence-building measures among the parties to keep it relatively calm between Israelis and Palestinians," Leverett noted. "But even more importantly, strategically for the United States it allows other countries like the Saudis, like the Egyptians to partner with us in ways that would otherwise be impossible for them."

Not much progress

Former U.S. ambassador Adam Ereli says the Obama administration has made little progress convincing either side of the benefits of a two-state solution.

"The longer you go without a settlement the more unstable and explosive the situation becomes," the ambassador said. "But pushing the parties together and pushing the parties to compromise for less than what they think is their minimum required is going to be very difficult."

Among the issues dividing Israelis and Palestinians is security, the borders of a two-state solution, and the status of Jerusalem as a capital.

A State Department spokesperson says the secretary of state will travel to Brussels, Algiers and Rabat from April 1-3. In Brussels, Kerry will meet with counterparts to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. He will meet with senior officials in Algeria and Morocco.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Majecli from: kenya
March 26, 2014 3:41 PM
they are try what they really don't want to happen, they are always and will be at the side of Israel Arab leaders will never recognize Juwish State so U.S take the Juwish to your great nation

by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
March 26, 2014 2:24 PM
USA cannot solve palestine or any problem in the world.USA is CREATOR of problem in this world. For example Syria,Afghanistan, Libya,Iraq and Pakistan.The list is very long and endless. If the intention is to create problem,then this is good dream to think that palestine problem will be solve sooner.

by: MALIKA from: ALGERIA
March 26, 2014 11:43 AM
Mr KERRY visit to Algeria is ill timed. Election campaign is on going and the dictator Bouteflika will this as a support for his fourth round.
ATLAS TV, a channel hostile to the government has just been shut down. Freedoom of press?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs