News / Middle East

Kerry Ends Mideast Trip With Pledge to Restart Peace Talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands before holding talks in Jerusalem, Apr. 9, 2013.
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands before holding talks in Jerusalem, Apr. 9, 2013.
Scott Bobb
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has wrapped up a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories during which he expressed hope for an eventual Middle East peace agreement and underscored U.S. opposition to a nuclear-armed Iran.

Kerry ended his trip with a two-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said he is intent on reviving the stalled Middle East peace talks. Netanyahu said he was committed to the same goal.

"I'm determined to, not only to resume the peace process with the Palestinians, but to make a serious effort to end this conflict once and for all," he said.

Netanyahu said security and Palestinian recognition of the Israeli state were the foremost issues for Israel, but that any peace effort also should have economic components that would improve living conditions in the Palestinian territories. Kerry agreed.

“Whatever steps we take with respect to economics are in no way a substitute, but they are in addition to the political track," he said. "The political track is first and foremost. Other things may happen to supplement it."

  • Israel's President Shimon Peres and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speak during their meeting in Jerusalem, April 8, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli President Shimon Peres as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits between at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, April 8, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry observes a moment of silence after laying a wreath during a ceremony marking Israel's annual day of Holocaust remembrance, at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, April 8, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry greets members of the U.S. Marine Corps Detachment before speaking to U.S. foreign service workers during his visit to the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, April 8, 2013.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 7, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, April 7, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry board a second plane after their original aircraft had mechanical problems at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland April 6, 2013.


Impasse

The peace talks have been stalled for nearly three years. The Palestinians say before they will return to the negotiating table Israel must halt construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and release political prisoners.

The Israelis say they are prepared to return to the talks, without preconditions.

Upon his arrival Sunday Kerry met with the head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas who reportedly reiterated the Palestinian demands.

U.S. officials said Kerry was proposing what were termed confidence building measures to try to bring the two sides back to the talks.

A senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Hanna Amira, said he is not optimistic. This time U.S. officials are trying to replace Palestinian conditions on settlement construction, he said, adding that he does not think Kerry's overtures will succeed.

Iran

Concern about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program was also high on the agenda for the U.S. and Israeli officials. Netanyahu said Iran cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

Kerry, in his remarks, said the U.S. government is still open to negotiations but they cannot go on endlessly. And the military option to strike alleged Iranian nuclear weapons installations remains on the table.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only and has vowed to retaliate if attacked.

Kerry is next scheduled to be in London for a meeting of the G8 foreign ministers to discuss a range of regional and transnational issues.

Kerry then is slated to begin a three-nation tour of Asia that is expected to be dominated by the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ron Matar from: Australia
April 11, 2013 2:33 AM
Why should the U.S support Israeli insistence the Palestinians recognise the State of Israel when the official stance of the U.S on this matter is " In the view of the United States, International Law does not require a State to recognise another entity as a State, it is a matter for the judgment of each State as to whether an entity merits recognition as a State. .


by: Hakim Al Batuti from: Iran
April 09, 2013 11:32 AM
we know Israel has caused the so called "earth quake" that degraded to nuclear site they were asking the UN to inspect...


by: Troy Cumberland from: USA
April 09, 2013 11:19 AM
We view this latest attempt by the US as misguided. It is very easy to discern the intentions of the Arabs in relation to Israel - and they are not shy demonstrating these intention in every media outlet. all we have to do is listen and see that their avowed intention is the destruction of one of the most unique and cherished intellectual achievements in human recorded history. Instead of learning to live with Israel in peace and benefit from their incredible talents and intellectual achievements the Arabs seek to destroy it. whether by direct confrontation or by their latest approach - crying to the UN of "racial" discrimination..

you couldn't make up this stupidity on "Saturday Night Live"... well, Arabs will be Arabs... still, by actively inculcating Arab children to hate Christians Jews and Hindus we should be concerned. it is up to Jordan to absorb their "Palestinians" brothers (which are Jordanian by the way) - the Jordanians have been feeding of "Palestinians" confected story long enough. I wish Israel took a lesson from Assad on how to deal decisively with the Arabs.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid