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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
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.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid