Kerry to Peres: This moment is critical for Israel, region

In visit to president's residence in Jerusalem, US secretary of state says peace is a question of whether Israelis, Palestinians "make the choice" to compromise; Peres says Israel will stand by his side "all the way."

May 23, 2013 21:15
1 minute read.
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, May 23, 2013.

Peres and Kerry May 2013 cute 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Young)

US Secretary of State urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make the necessary compromises to allow the resumption of direct talks, as he visited both Jerusalem and Ramallah on Thursday.

“Our hope is that the leaders in both Israel and the Palestinian authority will find a way to compromise,” Kerry told President Shimon Peres.

The two met spoke in the evening after a long day of back-to-back meetings that included talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

It is likely that Kerry will meet Netanyahu again on Friday before departing for Ethiopia. Kerry is expected to meet Abbas again in Jordan on Sunday, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. Peres will attend the forum, where he is scheduled deliver a public address. Jordan’s King Abdullah II will also be at the forum.

Peres told Kerry, “If you succeed, it will be our success. If you will miss, we shall miss. We shall stand on your side all the way. You have a mission of peace, which concerns all of us.”

Kerry responded, “It’s not me, Mr. President. It’s really a question of whether Israel and the Palestinians make the choices.”

“This moment is a really critical one for the region and particularly for Israel, for Palestine and for Jordan, I think there is an opportunity but for many reasons it is not on the tip of everyone's tongue,” Kerry said.

But in spite of the optimism created by the flurry of Kerry’s activities, Palestinians publicly said they were not willing to compromise on their key demands from Israel.

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