President meets US secretary of state in Jordan
Published Saturday 23/03/2013 (updated) 24/03/2013 18:29
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday held a meeting with US secretary of state John Kerry in Amman, in the aftermath of his talks with US President Barack Obama.
Majdi Al-Khalidi, adviser for diplomatic affairs and international relations, said Kerry was assigned by Obama to listen to the Palestinian position, in an attempt to revive peace talks with Israel.
Al-Khalidi told Ma’an that the US has no plan on how to achieve peace, but will listen to both sides of to try and move the peace process forward. He added “our demands will not change”, a state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, to release all prisoners, and to stop building settlements.
Al-Khalidi added that the US unblocked $500 million in aid from the US development agency.
A State Department official said earlier that Kerry planned "to continue the conversations they started with President Obama and the secretary earlier this week".
Neither side issued any formal statements after Kerry's meeting with Abbas, and their senior aides declined initially to divulge any details.
A Palestinian source speaking on condition of anonymity said the talks had focused on "trying to find common ground between both sides to see if there is ground to resume peace talks", and cautioned against expecting any quick results.
"It could take some time" to achieve a formal resumption of negotiations, the source said.
Peace talks ran aground in late 2010 in a dispute over Jewish settlement building in land Israel captured in a 1967 war that Palestinians seek for a state.
In Jerusalem, Kerry was photographed meeting with Netanyahu but no official statements were released.
Obama promised that Kerry, Washington's new top diplomat, would dedicate time and energy to the Israeli-Palestinian problem, one in which the president failed to make progress during his first term.
Reuters contributed to this report.