Meet the most influential figures in the Jewish world
'Abbas to Kerry: Push Israel for settlement freeze'
By
March 4, 2013 17:40
PA official says Abbas urges Kerry to exert pressure on J'lem to release Palestinian prisoners in Saudi Arabia meeting.
Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas 521. (photo credit:Marc Israël Sellem )

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Saudi Arabia Monday with US Secretary of State John Kerry and discussed the latest regional developments, Palestinian officials in Ramallah said.

This was the first meeting of its kind since Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.



“The meeting focused on efforts to revive the peace process,” said a Palestinian official. “They also discussed [US] President Barack Obama’s planned visit to the region later this month.”

Another PA official said that during the meeting, Abbas requested that the Obama administration exert pressure on the Israeli government to release scores of Palestinian prisoners and freeze construction in the settlements.

The official quoted Abbas as telling Kerry that unless Israel met these two conditions, the PA leadership would not be able to resume the stalled peace talks.

Abbas, according to the official, complained during the meeting about the PA financial crisis and called on the US and donor countries to help solve the issue.

Abbas also met with Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz during his two-day visit to Riyadh.

Kerry had originally planned to come to Israel during his current tour of key European and Middle East countries, his first trip abroad as secretary of state, but cancelled after Obama announced his own plans to come to Israel.

“No one feels snubbed that Kerry met with Abbas” and did not come to Israel before the Obama visit, one Israeli government official said. Both Israeli and Palestinian officials have travelled to the US in recent weeks to plan for the Obama trip.

Kerry’s meeting with Abbas is an indication that the Obama administration is “doing a lot of planning” before the president’s visit, the official said.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Mahmoud Abbas
  • Peace process
  • john kerry
  • saudi arabia
  • palestinian prisoners
  • Prev Article
    IAEA chief: Can't report progress in Iran nuke talks
    IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano
    US Secretary of State John Kerry, February 20, 2012
    Kerry sees ‘finite’ time for Iran nuclear talks
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Marine Le Pen lebanon
    February 21, 2017
    Le Pen refuses to wear headscarf, nixes meeting with top Lebanese cleric

    By REUTERS

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 4 - 16
      Beer Sheva
      7 - 17
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 5 - 13
      Jerusalem
      7 - 15
      Haifa
    • 8 - 22
      Elat
      8 - 19
      Tiberias