Peres with Senator John Kerry [file].
(photo credit: Jini Agency)
Bringing the greetings of US President Barack Obama and the American people, Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on President Shimon Peres on Wednesday morning and expressed hope for the resumption of the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
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Peres responded that neither the Palestinians nor Israel had any real alternative but to resume negotiations, but added that there needed to be trust on both sides.
Aware that Kerry is on a peace advocacy mission in the region, and has already visited Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. Peres said Israel’s eyes were not closed to the area he was visiting or the purpose of his visit, and appreciated and supported Kerry’s intentions.
Kerry spoke of the special relationship that exists between the US and Israel.
“We have strong ties and bonds,” he said, noting the statement to this effect made by US Vice President Joe Biden when he addressed the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans.
“Everyone understands how special that relationship is,” said Kerry.
In relating to the renewal of peace negotiations, Kerry observed that “the window of opportunity is closing down, or at least narrowing.”
Later in the day, Kerry met with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to deliver a similar warning.