Report: Kerry and Netanyahu discussed restarting peace talks, 4th prisoner release

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
September 1, 2014 11:21

According to Palestinian sources, Kerry cancelled his visit to the region due to lack of progress in talks.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry. (photo credit:REUTERS)

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone about the possibility of restarting peace talks with the Palestinians and a fourth prisoner release, Palestinian media reported on Monday.

According to a report in the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi, Netanyahu did not respond positively during the conversation, and therefore Kerry told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he is canceling his scheduled visit to the region next week.

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A Palestinian source also said on the heels of the canceled visit, a Palestinian delegation, including chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and the head of Palestinian Intelligence, Majid Faraj, will travel to Washington on Tuesday to present to Kerry a new Palestinian initiative.

According to reports, the Palestinian Authority will delay their applications to the UN Security Council and international organizations if an agreement is reached within four months.

A Palestinian delegation is set to arrive on Monday in Cairo, headed by PLO official Mustafa Barghouti, to talk with Egyptian officials about the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. They will also discuss the restart of the peace talks, including the possibility of a sea and airport in Gaza and a fourth prisoner release.

Next week, Abbas is expected to present the progress of the visit to Washington to the Arab League foreign minister.


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