Abbas, Kerry discuss efforts to revive stalled peace talks

In third meeting of its kind, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman following PA meeting with Russian envoy to Middle East.

May 27, 2013 21:02
1 minute read.
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, May 23, 2013.

Abbas and Kerry meet in Ramallah 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Amman Monday with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the third meeting of its kind since last Thursday.

Abbas and Kerry discussed efforts to revive the stalled peace talks with Israel, a PA official in Ramallah said. The meeting was attended by Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, the official said.

Earlier, Abbas also met in the Jordanian capital with Russia's envoy to the Middle East, Sergey Vershinin, and briefed him on the latest developments surrounding Kerry's efforts to resume peace talks with Israel.

Abbas's talks with Kerry and the Russian emissary came as PA officials said that the US Secretary of State still hasn't presented an initiative for resuming the peace process.

Erekat was quoted Monday as saying that the meeting between Kerry and Abbas was the seventh of its kind between the two men over the past four months.

"Kerry is still not prepared to present a new peace initiative," Erekat said. "Kerry also hasn't asked to extend the deadline for resuming the peace talks, which expires at the end of this month." Erekat predicted that Kerry would present his peace plan within two weeks. Erekat said that the PA leadership remains committed to its demand that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state and release Palestinian prisoners before the talks are resumed.

Erekat said that the question now is whether Kerry would be able to persuade Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to accept the two-state solution on the basis of the pre-1967 lines. Abbas too told the PA's official newspaper Al-Ayyam that Kerry still hasn't presented a plan for resuming the peace talks. "We expect Kerry to present his plan soon," Abbas said before meeting with the US Secretary of State in Amman.

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