News / Middle East

    Kerry: US Commitment to Mideast Peace Not Open-Ended

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference with Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar following a bilateral strategic dialogue at the Foreign Ministry in Rabat, April 4, 2014.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference with Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar following a bilateral strategic dialogue at the Foreign Ministry in Rabat, April 4, 2014.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration is re-evaluating its role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process after both sides broke parts of an agreement on talks toward a two-state solution.

    Kerry says President Barack Obama has made clear that U.S. involvement in Mideast peace is not open-ended as Washington confronts crises from Ukraine to Syria to Iran's nuclear program.
     
    "There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to move forward," he said.

    However, sources close to the talks said late Friday there will likely be another round of talks Sunday involving U.S., Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
     
    Kerry's most pessimistic assessment of prospects for peace follow the Israeli Cabinet refusing to release a group of Palestinian prisoners and Palestinians voting to join 15 international organizations that would draw them closer to enhanced U. N. recognition.
     
    While neither side has told him they want to quit the peace process, Kerry says it is clearly time for "a reality check."

    "Regrettably in the last few days both sides have taken steps that are not helpful. And that's evident to everybody," he said. "So we are going to evaluate very carefully exactly where this is and where it might possibly be able to go."
     
    "Leaders have to lead," Kerry added. "The parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises."

    But after a year of trying to bring the sides together, Israelis and Palestinians each accuse the other of violating agreements guiding these Kerry-led talks that are scheduled to stop at the end of this month.

    Also Friday, dozens of Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Beituniya, as they protested Israel's decision not to free Palestinian prisoners. Protesters threw stones at Israeli troops who responded with tear gas.

    On Thursday, Israel cancelled the planned release of a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners in response to the Palestinian leadership's signing of more than a dozen international conventions.

    Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Palestinian actions violated the conditions for the release, which were contingent on the Palestinians refraining from making unilateral moves.

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    by: Mike Steevens from: Brooklyn NY
    April 06, 2014 7:04 AM
    In my opinion. There's no point in these peace talks history shows it as much peace that "OFFICIALLY'' will be there's ALLWAYS going to be some foes out there trying to ruin it

    by: Elmer from: BC Canada
    April 05, 2014 10:04 PM
    And my question is why should Israel let more Palestinian terrorists free, most of them probably are murderers anyway. Besides all these Muslim extremists just want to wipe out all the Jews and they will not stop trying.

    by: demokrat from: Canada
    April 05, 2014 9:57 PM
    The US has the clout to force an Israeli-Palestinian solution. All it needs to do is reduce its foreign welfare check to Israel (the biggest it writes), remove Israel from the privileged hardware recipient list, and offer to reverse that process once Israel closes the occupying settlements; and the US/UN offers Palestine commensurate funding to build an economy like Israels. Then the excuses for inability to settle and constant destabilization of US (and other) efforts to bring closure will suddenly fade away as the cash stays home.

    by: ketter from: usa
    April 05, 2014 9:55 PM
    The Bible clearly states when there is peace in the middle east, the end of the world is near. As long as they keep swiping at one another, I will assume that the end is no where in sight. Yea+++

    by: DrJLD from: USA
    April 05, 2014 9:26 PM
    It takes statesmen to make a difficult peace such as this!

    The two leaders are just playing politics to satisfy constituencies, instead of leading by convincing the constituents that making a fair peace (to both sides) is good for everybody!

    Until both sides find real statesmen who can actually control their ministers and can convince the people so that peace-making can move ahead, there will be no peace between the two sides.

    by: tony milanes from: fl. usa
    April 05, 2014 8:50 PM
    SOME PEOPLE ARE SO IGNORANT THAT IT IS MY PLEASURE TO EDUCATE THEM, ISRAEL IS OUR FRIEND AND WILL CONTINUE OUR SUPPORT ON THE OTHER HAND THE PALESTINIANS HAVE AT LEAST FIVE OTHER MUSLIM COUNTRIES WITH LOT OF MONEY AND LAND IF THEY ARE SO HELLBENT ON PEACE WHY DONT THEY GIVE THEM A LARGE PIECE OF LAND AND MONEY TO HELP THEM ESTABLISH THEMSELVES!!! IT IS NOT PEACE THEY WANT THEY WANT ISRAEL DEAD AND GONE, HOW ARE YOU SUPPESED TO COMPRIMISE WITH THOSE WHO WANT YOU DEAD AND GONE!!!

    by: rltmd317 from: USA
    April 05, 2014 7:47 PM
    lol just a little while ago Kerry was sure he could fix a problem that has been in place for thousands of years. This just shows how out of touch the administration really is and worst how they think they can do what others before them have failed to do. Everyone has tried everything and nothing works. This is religious hate and it will only end with the annihilation of one side or the other.

    by: Mark Rcca
    April 05, 2014 7:18 PM
    in fact, the current situation is relatively peaceful; its not a war, but just occasional outbursts of violence between Israelis and Palestinians these days, with relatively few victims. There is a real civil war in neighboring Syria, and ongoing civil unrest in Egypt. Id say the Iraeli/Palestinian conflict is very minor in scope, compared with Syrian or Egyptian conflicts.
    In Response

    by: Zach from: usa
    April 05, 2014 8:23 PM
    Few victims? Take a trip to the occupied territories and reassess.

    by: Dick Brandlon from: Portland Oregon
    April 05, 2014 6:25 PM
    We are dealing with two parties who havwe consistently acting as if they were doing us a favor by agreeing to meet. We have spent millions of taxpayer dollars encouraging Israel, a country which has spied on us and ignored us and Palestine, which is beset with so many internal problems that they seem impotent to do anything and I say it's time to wash our hands of both of them.
    In Response

    by: DrJLD from: USA
    April 05, 2014 9:34 PM
    The Israelis also spy for us and give us a lot of valuable intelligence on things in the middle east that we have trouble doing on our own.

    The US also spies on Israel, and most other countries in the world. They do the same to us.

    As for ignoring the US, what is that supposed to mean specifically? Israel has done our bidding many times (for example, remember their not attacking Iraq during the Gulf War for sending missiles to Israel?).

    Israel has self-interests of its own in its own survival, and does not need to do everything someone else tells them.

    Except for the US spy-ship that was attacked decades ago,please tell us what other blood we have shed for them.
    In Response

    by: John from: Lafayette
    April 05, 2014 9:00 PM
    Well said. How much our tax payer money, year after year after year, plus a lot of blood to spent on a foreign country that virtually hijacks us?

    by: Murray Rushing
    April 05, 2014 6:22 PM
    Get doofus "Lurch" Kerry out of there and send Oliar and him on a month long golf vacation so they can not add to the problems. The Obamanation administration regard foreign policy as an insurance contract from another nation and don't have a "smidgeon" of expertise in that area.
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