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Kerry shows optimism on Israel-Palestinian peace talks

English.news.cn   2013-12-07 00:26:22            

JERUSALEM, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry exhibited Friday optimism on the Mideast peace talks at the end of his trip to Israel, saying "Israel and the Palestinians are closer to a peace agreement than they have been in years."

Kerry finished a two-day visit to Israel to push forward the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and departed on Friday noon from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Israel confirmed to Xinhua.

Local Walla! news website reported that despite Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected a new plan proposal for security arrangements in the West Bank presented by Kerry and his advisor General John Allen, there was "some progress" in the talks between Kerry and Abbas on Thursday, following a four-hour session in Ramallah.

Kerry said although no information about the talks has been leaked out, it does not mean that the progress is not being made.

However, an Israeli official told Xinhua on Friday that it seems that both sides are still pessimistic about any progress in the peace talks.

The Palestinian government accused Israel of sabotaging negotiations with its recent announcements of thousands of housing units to be build in the West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements.

It also slammed Israel's insistence on security issues without discussing other aspects of a future peace agreement.

For its part, Israel insists on maintaining security control over some posts throughout the West Bank and control the space over the West Bank.

On Thursday, Kerry started his visit presenting an optimistic front, saying at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there has been "some progress" in the talks, despite reports saying the diplomatic efforts have come to a grinding halt.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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