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Kerry stops for shawarma after talks with Abbas in Ramallah
Published Thursday 23/05/2013 (updated) 26/05/2013 15:21
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RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday wandered the streets of the central West Bank city of al-Bireh, ate shawarma and Palestinian sweets and drank Arabic coffee at a local restaurant.

Kerry’s tour followed a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in the latter’s office in Ramallah.

Several officials attended the talks including PLO secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo, Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat, Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina and a presidential adviser on economic affairs.

Abbas told Kerry the Palestinians were serious about resuming peace negotiations to save the two-state solution. The president also addressed ongoing settlement expansion and settler assaults against the Palestinian people in the West Bank.

Kerry arrived in the region Thursday as he kept up a push to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to peace negotiations amid a growing skepticism over his efforts.

Making his fourth trip since he began his tenure in February, Kerry headed straight into talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before travelling to Ramallah.

Israel's top negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Thursday the government is divided on the issue of peace with the Palestinians.

"There are ideological differences at the heart of the government," Livni told public radio.

The stalling of the peace process since September 2010 "only serves the interests of those think that each passing day (without a peace agreement) allows them to build a new house," she said, in reference to Jewish settlement building on Palestinian territory, a key issue preventing a return to talks.

"But this is not the position of the majority of Israel's population," she added.

Kerry's meetings come after a long day of diplomacy in Jordan, during which he met with 10 other foreign ministers from the "Friends of Syria" group in a bid to try to end the Syrian conflict.

Kerry has been back and forth to the region to push for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

After whirlwind talks Thursday and Friday, he will return to the region on Monday to attend the World Economic Forum in Amman.

He has been seeking to put together a plan for the economic revival of the West Bank and it is possible he could unveil his ideas at the forum.
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1 ) If, Then, And / Negotiations
23/05/2013 21:55
IF "Palestinians were serious about resuming peace negotiations
- to save the two-state solution",
THEN they would not allow "ongoing settlement expansion" get in the way,
AND, they would show-up every week until NEGOTIATIONS were completed.



2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
23/05/2013 22:38
Too bad he didn't also stop for kanafe. There are a couple of great places in Ramallah I used to go to, before Palestinians would kidnap and kill Israelis there. Oh right, apartheid. Isn't that a rule of government where one race enacts rules and laws that bans the rights of another race? Kind of like the PA banning Jews from owning land or running for office? That's apartheid, whereas in Israel Arabs can own land and run for office. Kerry knows this too.

3 ) @maan / .jo
23/05/2013 22:50
collaborators article

4 ) Mohammad Shahin / USA
24/05/2013 02:04
I have a good friend from El-Bireh, just waiting for him to comment here. :)

5 ) Johnny benson / USA
25/05/2013 20:36
I guess there are no good authentic Arab restaurants in Washington......so enjoy....really great tasting foodd

6 ) moe / USA
28/05/2013 11:39
tO WHO EVER WROTE THIS ARTICLE PLEASE GO BACK AND STUDY BASIC GEOGRAPHY LESSONS FOR PALESTINE JOHN KERRY WENT TO AL-BERIH NOT RAMALLAH YOU DOUSHBAG!!!!!!!!1

7 ) Rami / Palestine
29/05/2013 09:37
To #6: Please go back and study basic spelling and grammar because Al Bireh is not spelled "AL-BERIH" and douche bag is not spelled "DOUSHBAG." I'm also fairly certain that a "1" has no place after an exclamation point. By the way, adding extra exclamation points is unnecessary; it doesn't express your statement any further than what you have already written. Why do Ma'an articles seem to increasingly attract the lowest common denominators of society?

8 ) ian / australia
29/05/2013 11:39
#2 "Too bad he didn't also stop for kanafe." Rukab's ice cream is good too. I'm sure you could make the trip without being kidnapped Brian. (Maybe on the d/l, on the bus.) As for the rest. Isn't a PA law "banning Jews from owning land" pretty understandable given Palestine is OCCUPIED by Jews who make the lives of Palestinians a misery, stealing their land, attacking their farms, uprooting their trees, vandalising their mosques, fire-bombing their cars and school buses (and stabbing their sheep)

9 ) ian / australia
29/05/2013 11:40
(contd.) all with the tacit approval of Head Office? The colonial mothership. It's not so much state apartheid as martial law with a temporary suspension of niceties like equal rights (for the enemy occupier).
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