Kerry says he'll pause, reassess after Israeli-Palestinian peace bid

ADDIS ABABA Thu May 1, 2014 12:51pm EDT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during meetings at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during meetings at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa May 1, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Saul Loeb/Pool

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday he would pause and reassess what might be possible after failing to meet his April 29 goal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, saying both sides still wanted to try to negotiate.

In his first public comments since the deadline passed, Kerry appeared to push back against descriptions of his talks as fruitless, saying important progress was made during the nine- month effort.

"Both parties still indicate that they feel it's important to negotiate and want to find a way to negotiate," Kerry said during a trip to Ethiopia. "So we believe the best thing to do right now is pause, take a hard look at these things and find out what is possible and what is not possible in the days ahead."

The failure to reach a deal has given more ammunition to critics of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, who also accuse him of not reacting forcefully enough to Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

But Kerry, who has invested much of his own time and clout in the Israeli-Palestinian peace effort, strongly suggested he was not about to walk away.

"I personally remain convinced that as each (side) sort of works through the reasons that things began to become more difficult in the final hours, there may be quiet ways within which to begin to work on next steps," Kerry said.

Israel suspended the talks a week ago, even before the deadline passed, in response to a reconciliation pact between Fatah, the Palestinian faction that leads the West Bank, and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and which the United States and Israel regard as a terrorist group.

But before that, Kerry said, "both leaders took serious steps in order to engage in this discussion.

"What has not been laid out publicly and what I will do at some appropriate moment of time is make clear to everybody the progress that was made," Kerry said.

"These eight months - eight months plus - were not without significant progress in certain areas. And I don't think anybody wants to lose that progress."

When Kerry might revisit the peace effort was unclear.

"It's time for a pause. But it's also time to be reflective about the ways in which one might be able to find common ground even out of these difficulties," Kerry said.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Larry King)

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Comments (12)
sabrefencer wrote:
There Kerry is , yet again, before the cameras…saying what? He should be saying, he and Obama failed period…. plain and simple

May 01, 2014 9:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TBellchambers wrote:
It is reported that Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, told the media in Jerusalem this week that it was time to shift attention away from the failed peace talks and toward what he called a more urgent priority — the threat posed by Iran.

This was the widely expected next step in Israel’s strategy to first torpedo the US brokered peace talks, by expanding its illegal settlements, and then to proceed in its master plan to dismember Iran, having successfully lobbied the US to neutralise Iraq (with the loss of 4486 American lives and at least 100,000 others), in order to take effective control of the Middle East.

And the world, the UN and EU, watch apparently paralysed as Israel’s arms trade with Europe and America continues unabated until the inevitable occurs and the entire Mideast is plunged into a war with nuclear, chemical and biological WMD that will make Syrian fatalities and its displaced millions merely a prologue to the Armageddon that will ensue.

It is now over 40 years since Henry Kissinger witnessed the clandestine nuclear accord between US President Nixon and Israel’s Premier Meir that secretly altered the balance of power and instigated the existential global threat that now appears to be crystallising in 2014.

It would appear time for the world to finally know the truth and for the UN to take action.

May 01, 2014 9:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
I just don’t get it??

May 01, 2014 9:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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