Monday, December 30, 2013


Kerry to propose framework for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

WASHINGTON,- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss with Israeli and Palestinian leaders a framework for permanent status negotiations during his forthcoming visit to the Middle East, the State Department said Monday.

The framework will "serves as guidelines for the permanent status negotiation and address all the core issues," spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a regular news briefing.

The top U.S. envoy will have a detailed consultation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, working to bridge gaps between the two sides, Harf said.

"It makes sense to put some guidelines around the discussions of each of the final status issues to drive the process forward," she added.

The forthcoming trip, which starts on Wednesday, will mark Kerry's tenth trip to the region since taking the top diplomatic job.

Peace talks between Israel and Palestine were restarted under the brokerage of Washington in late July with a view to finalizing an agreement by the end of April next year, but blame-trading between the two sides has brought the talks to a halt.

Israeli media reported on Wednesday that Netanyahu was expected to announce a plan to build thousands of new settlement housing units.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday that Israel would destroy the peace talks if it announced any new plans for settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and could be met with retaliation.
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