JERUSALEM, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived on Thursday evening in Israel for another visit to the region to salvage negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy to Israel confirmed to Xinhua.
The storm which hit Israel and specifically Jerusalem altered Kerry's plans for the visit. Instead of meeting Israeli leaders on Thursday, Kerry will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday and Netanyahu and Peres on Friday.
This is Kerry's second visit to the region in the past two weeks. The U.S. top diplomat last time presented to both sides a security-arrangements plan in hopes of boosting the dwindling talks.
During the current visit, Kerry will follow up on the plan proposed last visit and will go over its details with both parties.
According to Palestinian officials, the plan includes having the Israeli military deployed throughout the Jordanian border on lands of the Palestinian territory for ten years, something greatly objected to by Abbas.
According to Palestinian officials, Israel insists on discussing security issues and not move on to other topics including the future Palestinian state's borders and its sovereignty.
Whereas the Israelis insist on security arrangements and the U. S. officials are focused on those security issues, the Palestinians fear that other topics that are important to them would be pushed aside, including the status of Jerusalem, the Palestinian sovereignty and the question of the Palestinian refugees.
Whereas Kerry attempted to keep an optimistic front in his last visit and said that both sides are "closer than they have in years " to approach a peace agreement, both sides expressed skepticism about any breakthrough to be made in the talks.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians began last July after a three-year halt in talks, due to Israel's construction in the settlements.
RAMALLAH, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas informed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry his reservations on the latter's security plan for a future solution with Israel, a Palestinian official said Thursday.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Abbas and Kerry met in the West Bank city of Ramallah as Kerry is back to the region for the second time this month in order to push for a framework agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Full story
RAMALLAH, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian negotiators have decided to complete peace negotiations with Israel within the specified 9-month timeframe despite "unacceptable" recommendations offered by the U.S. to solve the dispute, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.
"The Palestinian leadership doesn't want to appear responsible for stopping the negotiations or to be blamed for thwarting the U. S. peace efforts," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media. Full story