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: kpowll
    April 05, 2014 6:16 PM
    This is Holy ground Jesus walked and preached there.no one cares to make peace then either.

    by: fixento from: USA
    April 05, 2014 6:08 PM
    Israel never intended to release the prisoners, they have and always be the victims so they continue their expansions policy. This policy will eventually either to their demise in the world and America's support.

    by: joe Miller from: wantagh n.y.
    April 05, 2014 5:41 PM
    Stop all military and domestic aid to both countries. NOTHING

    by: Mike Fenton
    April 05, 2014 5:10 PM
    If the parties to the dispute do not behave like they want peace, then we should simply back off. It's clear to me after all these years of blathering about peace and doing nothing except throwing missiles and blowing up buildings and killing each other, that neither side wants peace. Maybe by the US backing out of the picture they will come to their senses or someone else will step in or they will simply keep on doing what they've always done. Frankly, I don't care any more.
    In Response

    by: habib from: calgary
    April 05, 2014 9:06 PM
    For peace to occur the stronger party must want it.Israel doesnot want peace but wish's to talk peace until Hell freezes over as long as they kill Arabs and build on their land with impunity.They have done so 60 plus and if left to their jugular hold on USA and the Money they control USA and the rest of the World are wasting their time on Pantomime!Nothing short of total Sanctions aka South African style against a Racist and Apartheid state of Zion will have any results.
    In Response

    by: Bill from: Hong Kong
    April 05, 2014 6:24 PM
    The U.S. should declare that on all its commitments to allies, Japan in the East China Sea and Philippines in the South China Sea included.

    by: Mike
    April 05, 2014 4:17 PM
    Let there be peace on earth

    by: Anonymous
    April 05, 2014 2:47 PM
    lets the world unite and stop ongoing genocide in Syriya by their regime.....so sad why no one does anything to help the poor people
    In Response

    by: Murray Rushing
    April 05, 2014 6:24 PM
    I'll bet you are not as drunk as some thinkle peep you are!

    by: peace to all
    April 05, 2014 2:42 PM
    Twenty years ago april 7 , Rwanda was nearly ripped apart by an inter-tribal genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group....and no one is talkin about that....lats work for peace and prosperity for all people .....lets work that all people live in dignity and hel Africa, poor poople, stop ongoing genocide in Mynamar that is ongoing on small nationalities there , Central African Republic, work on helpin Ukraine, Balkan nations on there way to peacefull existance, unite Bosnian people and state, help the peace in between people of Palestine and Israel, work on peace and prosperity and STOP war and warmongering and STOP genocide and rape which has been tool in wars for long times by fascist ragimes and alike
    In Response

    by: Murray Rushing
    April 05, 2014 6:28 PM
    2500 years ago, Egypt invaded the Israelites and there has been fighting in the area ever since. This has about as much sense as your comment.

    by: Epic from: Canada.
    April 05, 2014 11:01 AM
    Ever since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Arab dictators always believed that Israel's existence will jeopardize their corrupt rule over the masses of Arab imbeciles... You see, Arab dictators have been sitting on ocean of oil... Israel has no oil... Israel's economy relies on brain industry. Israel is a far more of a liberal democracy than Europe will ever be. So, many Arabs aspire to the Israeli standard of living - and THAT is what frightens the Arab dictatorships in the region. Therefore, the Arab dictatorships must incite the Islamic idiots against Israel, conspire against Israel, attack its "legitimacy" call Israel ugly names and denigrate its achievements... but even the imbecilic Arab population know the reality... Arabs live in very rich countries, but their corrupt "monarchies" have been stealing all their wealth, and the ordinary Arab lives his life on handouts... like a beggar..!!
    Yes, its true, Israel is a revolutionary influence in the Middle East... if Israel survive, and the Arabs adopt the Israeli model of free pluralistic liberal democracy of education, and industry... it would spell the end to all the corrupt Arab "monarchies."

    I have been reading about the Middle East for the past fifty years... i don't have much more time left... but i sure would love to know the end of this epic story... the story of the HOUSE OF ISRAEL - God Bless You
    In Response

    by: Joseph from: Canada
    April 05, 2014 6:31 PM
    You sure have convinced all of us with your impressive readings and broad knowledge. Your analysis is spot on. It all derives from your statement that Arabs have objected to the existence of Israel since the Ottoman collapse which was in 1918 I believe...Israel came to exist out of nowhere in 1945. I am curious to know as to what you have been reading for 50 years. I admire Israel as an intellectual populace, and the Jewish people are some of the most resourceful folks there are, but can we stop for a second and think a little bit how people from Russia, Britain, Africa...etc all of a sudden decided that an Arab land was their new home and started a "new" country in 1945? It is a valid question, don't you think...Einstein?

    by: Anthonybellchambers
    April 05, 2014 4:50 AM
    A compliant US congress calculates that Netanyahu is now beyond any military, political or financial control and can continue unrestrained with his illegal settlement building until the entire West Bank is ethnically cleansed.

    This is the consequence not only of the compliance of this congress but of the covert collusion of successive American administrations with the Israel lobby.

    Compounding this congressional collusion is the team of presidential advisors in the White House who support the aims and ambitions of the Political Zionism movement that seeks to avoid the will of the UN Assembly and to allow the continued ethnic-cleansing of the West Bank and East Jerusalem where Palestinian Arabs have lived for well over a thousand years, by rubber-stamping the massive funding and arming of the Netanyahu government.

    That this is a complete failure of democracy is patently obvious but it is also a political and military disaster given that Israel has been allowed to become the world's only undeclared nuclear weapon state with a secret arsenal estimated to contain up to 400 warheads and a fleet of cruise missile submarines with a second strike capability that is more powerful than any of the 28 member states of the European Union.

    Why have three hundred million Americans allowed their elected representatives in Congress to irretrievably change the balance of global power that is so detrimental to their own safety and security?

    That is the question that urgently requires an answer as nuclear control is removed from the IAEA and the UN Security Council to a state that was created by the UN itself in 1948 ostensibly to fulfil a humanitarian need but which has, unbelievably, been allowed to transmogrify into the nuclear tail that wags the global dog.

    by: Mustang from: USA
    April 04, 2014 5:46 PM
    to all the Iranian imposters here... let me just tell you that we will NEVER "cut Israel loose" - Israel is in our blood and in our souls... Israel is at the foundation of our identity. We will simply wont permit Israel to get close to China or Russia - and that is that..!!! get used to it.
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