News / Middle East

Kerry Convinced Mideast Peace Deal Possible

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (L) shakes hands with Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni near U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after announcing further talks at the State Department in Washington July 30, 2013.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (L) shakes hands with Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni near U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after announcing further talks at the State Department in Washington July 30, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have agreed to convene again in the Middle East within the next two weeks to begin substantive negotiations toward a comprehensive peace agreement and that he is aiming to help seal a final deal within nine months.

Kerry, speaking alongside Tzipi Livni, Israel’s justice minister, and Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said this week's discussions were "positive and constructive" and he was convinced the two sides could make peace.

After a morning of talks at the White House with U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Kerry said the two sides had agreed that all of the most contentious issues, such as borders, refugees and the fate of Jerusalem, would be on the table for discussion.

"The parties have agreed here today that all of the final status issues, all of the core issues, and all other issues, are on the table for negotiation.  They are on the table with one simple goal: a view to ending the conflict, ending the claims," Kerry said.

The top American diplomat stressed that both Israelis and Palestinians have "legitimate security concerns," pointing out the United States has worked closely with Palestinian authorities to develop their security force capacity, with "dramatic" results.

"All sides recognize this, Kerry said, "the Arab League, too."

Livni thanked Obama and Kerry for "proving today that failure is not an option."

The Israeli minister said she had traveled to Washington "from a troubled and changing region" and that her government "owed it to the Israeli people" to do everything it can for their security.

"We all know it's going to be hard, with ups and downs.  But I can assure you that in these negotiations it is not our intention to argue about the past, but to create solutions and make decisions for the future," Livni said.

The two days of negotiations in Washington were the first direct peace talks in nearly three years.

Kerry hosted the two sides for dinner Monday night, after urging them to make "reasonable compromises" in the negotiations.  He said the issues at stake are tough, complicated, emotional and symbolic, but that the consequences of not attempting to negotiate would be worse.

For his part, Erekat asserted that no one benefits more from successful talks than the Palestinians.

"I am delighted that all final status issues are on the table and will be resolved without any exceptions.  It's time for the Palestinian people to have an independent, sovereign state of their own," he said.

Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk will be the main American envoy helping guide the talks.  Indyk said Monday he will do his best to achieve Obama's vision of two states living side by side in peace and security.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier that the nine-month time frame for direct negotiations is not a deadline and that the talks will not automatically stop after that period.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to free 104 Palestinian prisoners as a condition to restart the talks.  Israeli media say the prisoners include Palestinians convicted of deadly attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces.

Ultranationalist Israeli Cabinet ministers have said freeing the prisoners would be a reward for terrorism.  But Netanyahu told his ministers the decision was difficult for him and the families of those killed, but necessary to renew the peace process.
 

Mark Snowiss

Mark Snowiss is a Washington D.C.-based multimedia reporter.  He has written and edited for various media outlets including Pacifica and NPR affiliates in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @msnowiss and on Google Plus

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 31, 2013 9:56 AM
Middle East peace is possible and most difficult. It is possible because everything is possible to happen, good and bad. But it is most difficult because you cannot force peace on someone else except you want to hostage the person. The Palestinians, especially those in Gaza, refuse to accept peace with Israel. It's like the ceasefire the Nigerian government declared with Boko Haram wherein the sect refused to own up to the declaration leading to more mayhem that took people unawares. If there is going to be a peace deal with the Palestinians, they must themselves be talking of the need for peace, otherwise land borders cannot guarantee peace.

Hamas wants elimination of Israel not just land, whether occupied or not. Hezbollah in the north wants another holocaust since Iran must wipe Israel from world map. What then is the peace deal all about: land boundaries, release of land to Palestinians, not to call the Israeli nation Jewish? All these are window dressing; the real issue is for the Palestinians to renounce the violence against Israel and embrace the much touted peace deal without which two state solution is a sham. It will only mean to liberate Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to unleash a mayhem on Israel that will make the holocaust look like a child's play. But it is also possible to make peace with the PLO while Gaza will wait until it is matured for it. In which case it will not be recognized as part of Palestine, after all it may well be an extension of Iran just as Alaska is a part of USA.


by: malvina from: louisiana
July 31, 2013 1:16 AM
please read the books of jeremiam chapter32.where jeremiah paid 17 shekels of silver for the land that GOD gave to israel.for these last days its proof its israels land,theres a land deed buried in a clay vase in the holy land,where the recorders of the land deeds saved them.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
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 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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid