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Kerry urges Israeli settlement limits in order to continue peace talks

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 - 01:51

Nov. 6 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry faced grim Israeli and Palestinian assessments of progress in peace talks, and urged Israel to limit settlement construction weighing on the negotiations. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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While visiting the West Bank, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry faced grim Israeli and Palestinian assessments of progress in peace talks. Kerry urged Israel to limit settlement building in occupied territories in order to move forward with the peace talks. (SOUNDBITE) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY, SAYING: "...We consider now and have always considered the settlements to be illegitimate." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says peace talks with the Palestinians have failed to make real progress. (SOUNDBITE) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "I'm concerned about the progress because I see that the Palestinians are continuing with incitement, continuing to create artificial crisis, continuing to avoid, to run away from the historic decisions that are needed to make a genuine peace." Top Palestinians have said an Israeli plan for 3,500 more settler homes in the occupied West Bank was a major obstacle to the success of the negotiations, despite the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners. Minister of Prisoner Affairs, Issa Karaki: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MINSTER OF PRISONER AFFAIRS ISSA KARAKI, SAYING: "The settlement building has increased specifically since the negotiations had started. This means that negotiations are in great danger and might be stopped. Therefore, Kerry should announce a position and put limits to the Israeli government." But Kerry said he was confident progress would be made, in the six months remaining to strike a peace deal. (SOUNDBITE) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY, SAYING: "This can be achieved - with good faith, with a serious effort on both sides, make real compromises and hard decisions - this can be achieved."

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Kerry urges Israeli settlement limits in order to continue peace talks

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 - 01:51