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

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: 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.
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