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FM: Abbas, Kerry meeting will focus on the future of the peace process
Published Tuesday 13/05/2014 (updated) 15/05/2014 19:56
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(MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in London on Wednesday will focus on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a senior official said Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told Palestinian radio that Abbas and Kerry would evaluate the latest round of peace talks with Israel and "determine the reasons for their failure."

The meeting "is not an agreement to return to negotiations," al-Maliki said, stressing that the PLO's demands must be met before returning to peace talks with Israel.

A Palestinian official told AFP earlier Tuesday that the two leaders had scheduled a meeting in London on Wednesday.

But Kerry's spokeswoman denied there were any plans for the US top diplomat to hold talks with the Palestinian leader during a scheduled trip to London this week.

"There's no meeting planned," Jen Psaki told reporters, adding that Kerry would be in London on Thursday for discussions on the conflict in Syria.

Kerry's peace efforts derailed even ahead of their April 29 deadline, with Palestinian and Israeli leaders exchanging recriminations and reneging on commitments made during nine months of fruitless meetings.

"The meeting could be the last attempt by Kerry to revive negotiations," the Palestinian official said.

Should the peace talks resume, Kerry believes both sides must work on the future contours of a Palestinian state and security arrangements for Israel alongside other core issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.

Israeli security took precedence throughout much of the last talks, overshadowing the issues of future borders and refugees.

During the talks, Israel also announced thousands of new settler homes in the West Bank, on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

In late March, Israel backtracked on a pledge made at the start of the talks in July 2013 to release a final batch of veteran Palestinian prisoners, prompting Abbas to seek membership of several international treaties, breaking his own commitments.

The PLO, which is dominated by Abbas's Fatah party, then signed a surprise reconciliation agreement with Islamist rivals Hamas on April 23, after which an incensed Israel pulled out of the talks.

AFP contributed to this report.
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1 ) JoeFattal / USA
14/05/2014 02:23
It is hard to make peace with a government that is divided and wage war against each others. What we see is a religious confrontation not between Jewish Extremists against the Palestinians but between the Jews in Israel and the Jewish Extremists on the other hand, which somehow dominate Netanyahu not to take action. Even though it is not transparent but it's there. And now that the Palestinians reconcile, the relation between Israel and the Jewish Extremists will worsen.

2 ) A Wake-Up Call / Reality Without A Future
14/05/2014 03:24
There is NO "future of the peace process", and there is NO future for a Palestinian state either, unless the PLO does two things: -1- Drop all preconditions (borders, settlements, etc.) to talks, and then -2- Make impossibly difficult compromises, on all it's demands, including NO 1967 borders, NO East Jerusalem capital, and NO refugee return, or * A Palestinian State Will Never Exist, while Israel continues to prosper !!

3 ) How can you talk abtou / peace talks before
14/05/2014 08:47
The world sees what kind of a government is formed between Abu Maazen and Hanyieh???? or should israel talk to a temporary technocrat about her future?

4 ) Rami / Palestine
14/05/2014 09:32
The future of the peace process should be that the United States should remove itself completely from the peace process. Including halting financial support to the two sides and ending all development projects. It's hard to be an impartial negotiator when you are partial to one side.

5 ) Rabiah / Gaza, Ps
14/05/2014 14:17
What a happy picture of President Abbas & Mr Kerry, who despite US denials, are hopefully meeting today & discussing the peace talks. Palestine would like a future for everyone, unlike Israel who only thinks of its self. They should remember that phrase 'sieze the moment', the government that negotiates today may not be the 'government' that is there in a years time or more (both sides). By choosing to negotiate now will bring all sides closer to an understanding of aims & objectives. By waiting

6 ) Rabiah (2) / Gaza, Ps
14/05/2014 14:27
Israel will only be seen to be using more delaying tactics. After so many years on waiting, President Abbas & unity government might finally see their way to signing the 'Rome Statute' as a prelude to initiating further proceedings. There are enough checks & balances in place to enable negotiations to continue now. The wait & see argument doesn't hold. Life is transient, the world could end tommorow. Try to see further than what was, look forward. The future could be bright & happy in shah Allah

7 ) Qasim / Egypt
14/05/2014 14:30
#4 - Well said Rami! We know the US stance on things.
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