CMEP Bulletin: Kerry Shuttles Back to Region in Hopes of Restarting Talks
Kerry persists in restarting peace process
For the third time in two months, United States Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel and the West Bank in hopes of restarting negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. According to Foreign Policy sources, “America’s top diplomat is just beginning what will be a long push to restart the peace process.”
While Kerry told press, “Nobody is entering this with any sense of naiveté,” he later told staff at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, “I believe that if we can get on a track where people are working in good faith to address the bottom-line concerns, it is possible to be able to make progress and make peace.”
In his second meeting with Kerry in two days, Netanyahu stood next to him and said, “I’m determined not only to resume the peace process with the Palestinians, but to make a serious effort to end this conflict once and for all.” However, recent reports have raised doubt on that statement.
Shortly after Kerry left town, a senior Israeli official voiced opposition to Kerry’s approach for resuscitating peace negotiations that focuses initially on just borders and security. Haaretz reports, “a senior Israeli official…expressed considerable skepticism regarding Kerry’s steps, and made cynical, slightly scornful comments regarding his attitude.” The Israeli paper quoted the source as saying, “Kerry believes that he can bring about the solution, the treaty and the salvation…He thinks that the conflict is primarily over territory…and that is wrong.”