News / USA

Kerry to Discuss Israeli-Palestinian Peace with Arabs

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) during the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Joint Opening Session at the State Department in Washington, July 10, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) during the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Joint Opening Session at the State Department in Washington, July 10, 2013.
Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss his effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks with Arab officials in Jordan on Wednesday, according to the State Department, which declined to comment on whether a resumption may be at hand.

Kerry will leave Washington on Monday night to fly to Amman to see officials from Jordan and the Arab League, which put forward a peace proposal in 2002 that offered full Arab recognition of Israel if it gave up land seized in a 1967 war and accepted a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees.

There is deep skepticism among diplomats and Middle East analysts that the Israelis and Palestinians are likely to resume peace talks. Some regard the issue as a sideshow to Syria's civil war, the Egyptian army's overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi and Iran's suspected efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

Still, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki sounded an optimistic note about the chances for peace even though she, and another senior U.S. official, declined to say whether or not Kerry's upcoming trip might be decisive.

“The secretary would not be going back to the region if he did not feel there was an opportunity [for] taking steps forward in providing an update to representatives of the Arab League ... but beyond that I don't have any announcements or predictions to make,” Psaki said in a news briefing.

She said Kerry was likely to discuss Syria's civil war, which has dragged on for more than two years, with the Arab officials. He was also ready to talk about the current visit to Egypt by his deputy, William Burns.

A Palestinian official told Reuters in Ramallah that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would see Kerry in Amman on Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss his drive to resume peace talks.

Psaki declined to comment on whether Kerry would meet Palestinian or Israeli officials, or on speculation that peace talks, which collapsed in 2010, might be close to resuming.

Kerry upbeat on last trip
 
Kerry is embarking on his sixth peace-making journey to the region since he took office on Feb. 1 and his first foreign trip since his wife suffered a seizure on July 7. Some observers saw this as a hint that he may have progress to unveil.

Kerry ended his last trip on an upbeat note, saying he believed “with a little more work the start of final status negotiations could be within reach” before departing Israel on June 30, leaving two senior aides behind to continue talks.

“It feels to us that ... he would not be going back so quickly if it was not to seal the deal. So we feel optimistic,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of a group called J Street, which describes itself as a pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby.

Israeli-Palestinian peace-making broke down in a dispute over building Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want for an independent state.

Abbas has said that, for new talks to be held, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu must freeze the settlements and recognize the West Bank's boundary before its capture by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war as the basis for the border of a future Palestine.

Israel, seeking to keep its settlement blocs under any peace accord, has balked at those terms.

In Amman, Kerry plans to meet Jordanian King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

On Wednesday, he was expected to see representatives from the same Arab League group that he last met on April 29, which included officials from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, a senior U.S. official told reporters.

Kerry has sought to ensure that any new peace process would have the backing of the Arab states, who, if they were to offer Israel a comprehensive peace, hold a powerful card that could provide an incentive for Israel to compromise.

The core issues that must be settled in the dispute, which has lasted six decades, include borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees, the future of Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the status of Jerusalem.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid