Herzog calls for Mideast summit during Obama’s term

Opposition leader meets Kerry in Rome, says "security situation cannot be allowed to continue this way."

February 3, 2016 13:30
herzog kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry [L] meets with opposition leader Isaac Herzog in Rome, February 3, 2016. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The United States should initiate a summit of Middle Eastern countries before US President Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) told Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday in a meeting in Rome.

Their one-on-one meeting session an hour. It was their fourth in the past six months.

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Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said on Tuesday that he has been told by people in Obama’s administration that the Middle East is not going to be the focus of the president’s final year.

But Herzog asked Kerry to give the Middle East peace process another chance. He tried to persuade him to have the US adopt his plan for separating Israel from the Palestinians. Herzog said Kerry expressed interest in the plan.

“The separation is the only way to change things in the region,” Herzog told Kerry. “The security situation cannot be allowed to continue this way. To create a diplomatic horizon, drastic steps must be taken.”

Likud officials expressed outrage with Herzog’s behavior and accused him of inviting pressure on Israel from the US.

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