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US envoy Kerry to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on peace prospects

John Kerry shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in Paris on Saturday to discuss progress toward a two-state solution, the State Department said.

“The secretary is not looking at trying to make progress based on a fixed date on the calendar,” spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday.

Instead, Kerry will speak with “Abbas about prospects for a two-state solution, and trying to make meaningful progress to create the conditions… where that solution can be more successfully pursued,” Kirby said.

Kerry will travel to Paris late Friday before returning on Sunday. He may also meet with other leaders for bilateral discussions, although Kirby gave no further details on the matter.

“This is something he has been focused on since he has been the secretary of state, and will remain so for, I can assure you, the entire time that he’s in office,” Kirby said.

“You’ve seen the travel that he has made to the region. This remains an area of prime focus for him.”

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been frozen for two years, with hopes that it could be revived before the end of President Barack Obama’s administration now mostly dashed.

The Middle East diplomatic quartet – the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States – urged Israel to stop building settlements and Palestinians to cease incitement to violence in a July report that drew a frosty response from both sides.


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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field