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Official: Kerry to Mideast next week for peace talks
Published Saturday 28/12/2013 (updated) 29/12/2013 09:35
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) listens to US
Secretary of State John Kerry during a press conference in
Jerusalem, on Dec. 13, 2013 (POOL/AFP/File Lior Mizrahi)
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- US Secretary of State John Kerry will return to the Middle East next week for talks with Palestinian and Israeli officials on the peace process, a Palestinian official said Saturday.

"Mr. Kerry has told the Palestinian Authority he will return to the region on January 4 to discuss the peace process and negotiations with Israel," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

According to a well-informed Palestinian source, the US chief diplomat plans to stay in the Middle East for a "number of days" in what would be his 10th visit to the region since March.

Kerry, who helped to launch nine-month direct talks between the two sides in July, insisted this month that concrete progress had been made in the peace talks.

But he said details would be kept under wraps as talking about any agreements could be counterproductive.

"I'm personally encouraged that very tough issues are beginning to take shape," he said in an interview with ABC television on Dec. 15.

"But we've agreed not to be talking about what we're doing because it just creates great expectations. It creates pressure. It creates opposition, in some cases.

"I think it's much better for us to do exactly what we've been doing, which is negotiate quietly and privately," he added.

Israeli and Arab media reports say the plan envisaged by Washington would see Israel maintain a military presence on the border after a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

An international force would be acceptable to the Palestinians, but Israel opposes such a solution.

Israel has always insisted that a continued military presence on the frontier would be vital for its security for some 10-15 years after Palestinian statehood.
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1 ) Maureen / Australia
28/12/2013 17:54
"Israel has always insisted that a continued military presence on the frontier would be vital for its security for some 10-15 years after Palestinian statehood." In other words, Israel wants to continue doing as it is, oppressive occupation of Palestine and apartheid!

2 ) Amalya / CH
28/12/2013 18:09
Kerry in the Mideast next week,!!!!!sends him back,There is no peace talks its a show,he's looking at the fools which he hopes to find in PALESTINE on his propaganda mission with biased intent for the Zionists,who want to defend their borders from Jordan from Syria or Lebanon,(why not also from sudan there is plenty of oil)the unlegitimized IDF the world best financed Terrorist group(by US)They are THE Savage vermin in Palestine which should not exist on Palestinian territories.

3 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
28/12/2013 19:04
Isn't it about time Palestinians stop talking to zionists from US? If you want real peace talks you need to have 1 neutral party and the other party's involved. Not Abbas against zionists. Stay away Kerry and weapon supplier US. You only bring death all over the world.

4 ) Mel / USA
28/12/2013 19:05
Don't go to Israel,Johnnie.Arrange a FORMAL 1 week UN summit,televised,where ALL Palestinian factions resisting Zionist-led Israel's occupation/oppression can sit with NATO heads,Israel's heads,plus Arab-League heads etc,TELEVISED,to present/state their cases,with equal time/space to speak,present documented evidence from 67yrs, address legalities like Geneva Conventions,Laws of War,Acts of War,Universal Human Rights,War Crimes/Crimes against the Peace? Go TRANSPARENT BIG Kerry,if U dare?

5 ) Mitri I. Musleh / Canada
28/12/2013 20:16
Throughout History, International forces were used to protect the boarders between any conflicting countries. If this is acceptable to the Palestinians, why is this option not acceptable to the Israelis? Does Israel have an agenda that contradicts peace, security and economic prosperity for all?

6 ) ian / australia
29/12/2013 00:38
So, Kerry is back for the big reveal. I can hardly wait.

7 ) Tibi / Tubas
29/12/2013 03:36
As long as Israel is allowed to dictate the terms, of the "very tough issues", which in all likelihood will be ** FOREVER, THE "shape" of any proposal or SOLUTION WILL BE UNACCEPTABLE TO PALESTINIANS, and the Palestinian's inability to compromise forever locks "Palestine" into it's impoverished non-state/"authority" situation !!

8 ) ian / australia
29/12/2013 13:32
"Israel has always insisted that a continued military presence on the frontier would be vital for its security for some 10-15 years after Palestinian statehood." Oy vey. How DO they make this stuff up? And how does it make any sense? Think about it. A "continued military presence...for some 10-15 years" (!) is defacto occupation of a fragmented Palestine and would radicalise another generation. There would be tension, resistance and constant "border incidents". Retaliation, escalation and

9 ) ian / australia
29/12/2013 13:34
(contd.) the cycle of violence seen in Gaza. How would that enhance Israel's "security"? And why the Jordan Valley? Why not the Green Line? Israel could clearly "secure" itself MORE effectively on its '67 border. (Does anyone really buy "early warning" of the Iranian nuclear strike?) And the irony would be the total indifference of the Arab world (AKA the genocidal Muslim bloc hell-bent on the destruction of the Zionist Entity) to Israel in its legal border. The only conclusion is that

10 ) ian / australia
29/12/2013 13:35
(contd.) the loony stuff Israel comes up with is designed to be rejected.

11 ) Outlier / USA
30/12/2013 20:36
Let's face it, Palestinian leaders have little with which to bargain in a peace settlement. Perhaps the best they will be able to do is trim or eliminate several Israel's demands and gain significant territory through land swaps by dropping some demands of their own - such as right of return or anything other than a token presence in Jerusalem. They have sold "pie in the sky" to the people, but will not be able to deliver. But if peace is the goal, they will have to settle.
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