GENEVA - US Secretary of State John Kerry will defend Israel at a UN human rights body on Monday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to criticize nuclear negotiations with Iran that the top diplomat is leading.
Kerry landed in Geneva late on Sunday for up to three days of talks with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on a deal to restrain the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions on Tehran. The talks will be held in Montreux.
In addition, Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday to discuss Iran, Syria and Ukraine and speak at the UN Human Rights Council in part to defend Israel against what US officials regard as its bias against the Jewish state.
"Our position is always very much in defense of Israel and protection of Israel's interests at the Human Rights Council," a US official aboard Kerry's plane told reporters, saying any investigations of Israel should be "objective and neutral and not ... one-sided and biased."