News / Middle East

US Downplays Israeli-Palestinian Talk Expectations

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (2nd L) are escorted by military officers to a helicopter bound for Zaatari refugee camp, at Marka airport in Amman, July 18, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (2nd L) are escorted by military officers to a helicopter bound for Zaatari refugee camp, at Marka airport in Amman, July 18, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The United States is trying to tamp down expectations for a quick resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

A U.S. State Department official said Thursday that despite some media reports, there currently are no plans to announce negotiations are back on.

The U.S. statement came as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gathered senior Palestinian leaders in Ramallah to discuss the latest proposal from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry himself has shared few details of the plan to restart the talks, which last collapsed in 2010, though he said the two sides have managed to narrow their differences "very significantly."

Still, Israeli President Shimon Peres voiced hope Thursday that the peace process might resume soon.

"The latest news I have is that Secretary Kerry really made real progress and the chances for an understanding heightened. And this day, tomorrow, another day, are very crucial. It's touch and go, and I believe that the supreme efforts that the secretary made bear some fruits on both sides, on the Palestinian and the Israeli,'' said Peres.

Kerry met Wednesday in Amman with Jordanian officials and representatives of Arab states that support a comprehensive peace plan. Afterward at a news conference, he urged both Israel and the Palestinians not to take any actions that might undermine their progress.

Kerry spoke to reporters with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, but refused to share many details on the proposed agreement to resume talks.  

He did say that the plan aims to show the benefits of peace, and in particular, the impact some proposals could have on the Palestinian economy. He said programs being considered as part of the plan aim to "reduce the unemployment rate from 21 percent to 8 percent," and in three years "double the GDP [Gross Domestic Product] of all of the Palestinian territory."  

Kerry has made reviving the Israeli-Palestinian talks one of his top priorities since becoming secretary of state earlier this year. During Wednesday's news conference, he said many of the Arab League ministers told him "the core issue of instability in this region and in many other parts of the world is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid