Kerry: “we have made real progress on this trip”

"I'm pleased to tell you that we have made real progress on this trip. And I believe that with a little more work, the start of final status negotiations could be within reach. We started out with very wide gaps, and we have narrowed those considerably" The American Secretary of State told a press conference before his departure at Tel Aviv airport.
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Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator said "It was a positive and profound meeting with president Abbas but there has been no breakthrough so far and there is still a gap between the Palestinian and Israeli positions."

Kerry, who has lengthened his stay in the area and cancelled a scheduled visit to Abu Dhabi, is trying hard to reach understandings with the two leaders in order to allow a return to the negotiations table. At this point, there is no evidence of his efforts being successful and it appears that a breakthrough has yet to be achieved.

An official Israeli source involved in the talks spoke to Reuters news agency to say that Kerry’s visit might result in a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian delegations under Jordanian-American sponsorship. “There is such a possibility, but it is not certain as of yet” he explained.

As opposed to that report, a Palestinian source said that Kerry’s efforts have yet to lead to true progress. “USA efforts continue, but so far without any real results – that could lead to a renewal of the peace negotiations”. 

Photography: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO

Erdan: Abu Mazen is still setting preliminary conditions  

Mister of home front defense Gilad Erdan interviewed today for  “Meet the Press” saying that “We are not nearing renewal of negotiations. As I understand it, Abu Mazen is still demanding the same preliminary conditions that we have no intensions of meeting.”

According to him, the Palestinians want to receive their prize at the start instead of at the negotiations finish line. Erdan rejected Palestinian claims that Netanyahu does not really want to reach an agreement saying “Netanyahu spoke his Bar-Ilan speech; he has reiterated his commitment to the two state solution, removed barriers and has frozen development in the settlements.  All this was not enough to start peace negotiations.”  

Erdan stressed that “The most important thing for us is to ensure Israeli citizens’ security interests.”



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