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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
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 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.

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