Kerry to return this week for push on talks

US Secretary of State wants to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks, will meet with Livni, Palestinian leadership separately.

May 19, 2013 03:08
3 minute read.
US Secretary of State John Kerry Justice Minister Tzipi Livni in Rome May 8, 2013.

Livni and Kerry in Rome May 8, 2013370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected in Israel on Thursday to resume his efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

Up until now the efforts have concentrated on trying to create a better environment, and toward this end there have been numerous reports both of an Israeli construction slow down beyond the Green Line, including in Jerusalem, and a Palestinian agreement to refrain from further unilateral moves for a few months in international organizations to promote Palestinian statehood.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

In addition, an Arab League delegation said in Washington last month after meeting with Kerry that the Arab League would accept an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that did not include a full withdrawal to the 1967 lines, but would include “mild” land swaps.

Kerry is expected to announce in early June a framework for his proposal to restart the Israel-Palestinian negotiations. The proposal is expected to have economic, security and political components, and is likely to be the focus of his talks here and in Ramallah with the Palestinian leadership.

Kerry is expected to meet during his visit with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians, and with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Livni told Army Radio on Saturday that Kerry is determined to reignite the peace process.

“When the US wants to bring about negotiations, it is certainly a positive thing because this represents our interests,” she said. “My encounters with Kerry show that he has an honest belief that it is possible to solve the conflict, and that a solution is an interest for the Israelis, Americans and Palestinians.”

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who met with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem on Friday and with Palestinian Authority leaders in Ramallah on Saturday, said Berlin “fully supports” the recent US initiative to restart direct talks.

“We believe that the Middle East peace process and the work on a two-state solution should be revived now and we will do what we can to support the security and a peaceful and sustainable development for Israel and the whole region,” he saidprior to meeting Netanyahu.

Later, after meeting President Shimon Peres, Westerwelle said, “We should do everything to support the John Kerry initiative.”

He underscored the importance of confidence-building measures and said that it was important not just to talk but to act.

Before meeting Netanyahu, Westerwelle stressed that Germany “stands by its Israeli partners” during these “very challenging times.”

“We want to work together and we want to support you,” he said. “This is what our friendship is about and I’m using the word friendship, which is from our understanding, more than a partnership.

This is not only a strategic alliance – this is a friendship between societies, between peoples and between governments.”

Neither Westerwelle nor Netanyahu referred in their opening statements to a recent hiccup in the relationship, first reported last week by The Jerusalem Post, having to do with Germany’s announcement that it will seek membership in the UN Security Council in 2019. By doing so, Berlin is weakening Israel’s chance to win its first ever seat on the body that year.

Israel announced already in 2005 it was putting forth its candidacy for the 2019 slot as part of the Western Europe and Other (WEOG) regional grouping.

Belgium has also put forth its candidacy for the position.

Israel is the only country in the region, and one of the few countries in the UN, that has never sat on the Security Council, a body that has historically had a tremendous impact on Israel and the region. The issue was raised during Westerwelle’s talks in Jerusalem.

Greer Fay Cashman and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN