News / Middle East

Kerry to Head to Middle East for Talks

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry picks up his notebook after answering questions from members of the media before his departure from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry picks up his notebook after answering questions from members of the media before his departure from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
Reuters
Secretary of State John Kerry will return to Israel and the Palestinian territories for peace talks next week, the State Department said on Saturday, in a visit that will come days after Israel is due to free another group of Palestinian prisoners.
 
Kerry will travel to Jerusalem and Ramallah on Wednesday for more talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, resuming his intensive shuttle diplomacy after a Christmas break.
 
"In these meetings, he will discuss the ongoing final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, among other issues," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
 
The United States is seeking to broker an agreement on a "two-state solution" in which Israel would exist peacefully alongside a new Palestinian state.
 
Kerry wants the sides to agree to a framework for an interim accord ahead of a deal in April, which would launch another year of talks aimed at a full-blown peace treaty. A framework would demonstrate that progress is being made in talks that began in July, according to U.S. officials.
 
A framework would touch on all the main issues, including security, the future of Jerusalem and the fate of refugees.
 
A step in that process is the release of Palestinian prisoners late Monday or early Tuesday, the third group to be freed since talks resumed in July. The release is seen by the United States as a vital confidence-building measure.
 
Netanyahu's office said in a statement that 26 prisoners would be released at least 48 hours after their names are made public later on Saturday. That would allow Israelis to contest the amnesty at the Supreme Court, which traditionally rejects such appeals.
 
The prisoners had been jailed for deadly violence committed before a 1993 Israeli-Palestinian interim peace accord, the statement said. A total of 104 inmates are included in the four-stage release.
 
The plan for the release was overshadowed by an announcement by Israel on Friday that it intends to build 1,400 homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said would "destroy the peace process" and could be met with retaliation.
 
The Palestinians see the Jewish settlements as an obstacle to achieving a viable state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Most countries consider Israel's settlements there illegal.
 
During his last visit to the region on Dec. 13, Kerry said both sides remained committed to peace talks and were on course to wrap up an interim deal in April.
 
A previous round of negotiations in 2010 broke down in a dispute over settlement construction, and peace talks have shown little sign of progress since their revival this year.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sandra Lee from: USA
December 28, 2013 8:17 PM
this stooge is such idiot... the guy who betrayed is own comrades in arms for a political seat is as degenerate as his "president" - yeah, put more restrictions on our only true ally - Israel - the only nation I would trust with the safety of my children... I hope the Israelis are not impressed with you Kerry... what a degenerate...


by: Dr. Barry from: USA
December 28, 2013 6:05 PM
Can a person be taken seriously (John Kerry) that is an admitted member of BOHEMIAN GROVE??

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid