Secretary of State John Kerry, in hours of meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has heard things
from each of them that “perhaps no one else has heard,” US Ambassador Dan
Shapiro said on Tuesday.
Shapiro, in an Israel Radio interview, said the
focus of the US diplomatic efforts now was on bridging the gaps between the
sides on all core issues and “maybe, in the final analysis, the two sides will
agree to something new, something they have not agreed upon until
He would not elaborate.
The document Kerry was working on,
Shapiro explained, will serve as a framework for continued negotiations toward a
permanent agreement and will be presented “in another few weeks, maybe another
month.” This framework, he added, “will form a basis for both sides to continue
Kerry, who left the region Monday after a five-day trip,
will return soon, Shapiro said.
The US envoy said that the framework for
the negotiations will show both Israelis and Palestinians what the basis of a
permanent agreement will look like.
“It has to answer a number of central
questions that are at the center of the conflict,” he said.
reports that Israeli government officials were accusing Kerry of using the
threats of European sanctions or a boycott as a way to pressure Netanyahu,
Shapiro said that the US has not only made clear that it opposes boycotts and
sanctions against Israel, but also fights against them on a daily basis in
various international forums.
Having said that, he added that he believed
one of the reasons Netanyahu entered into the negotiations over the summer was
because “he understood the international situation, and that this situation
would be more difficult without negotiations than with them.”
television interview in Israel on November 7, Kerry said, “I believe that if we
do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis, if we do not find a
way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel, there will
be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that’s been taking place
in an international basis.”
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon,
who met with Kerry alongside Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni a couple
of times over the weekend, said the emphasis now was not on reaching a framework
agreement but on agreeing on a framework to enable a continuation of the talks
beyond the nine-month deadline that expires in late April.
“It is clear
there are big gaps – they are not new – but our interest is definitely to
continue the negotiations and continue to work toward stabilizing the situation
and our relations with the Palestinians,” he said during a tour of the IDF
Central Command headquarters in northern Jerusalem.
Minister Avigdor Liberman met in London with British Foreign Secretary William
Hague, and afterward the two of them issued a joint statement saying they
“agreed that the current negotiations provide a unique opportunity to end the
conflict once and for all.”
Liberman has not used this type of language
in the past.
The statement said the two men also discussed the
“unprecedented package of security, political and economic support that the
European Union will provide to the parties in the event of a final-status
According to the statement, the two had an “open and
productive” discussion on a wide range of regional and bilateral
Regarding Iran, Liberman and Hague “reiterated our common goal of
preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, and the importance of continuing our
coordination on this matter. We agreed that the sanctions regime should remain
robust until Iran agrees to a comprehensive and final settlement addressing all
international concerns about its nuclear program.”
contributed to this report.
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