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      Kerry, Not Wasting Time, Calls Peres, Abbas

      Newly-installed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerryspoke to officials in Mexico, Canada, Israel, Turkey, and the Palestinian Authority
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 2/3/2013, 8:30 PM

      Senator John Kerry
      Senator John Kerry
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Newly-installed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry isn't wasting any time in getting started on his new job. After two full days in office, Kerry spoke to officials in Mexico, Canada, Israel, Turkey, and the Palestinian Authority (PA), his office said Sunday.

      On Sunday, Kerry called PA chief Mahmoud Abbas. According to an Abbas spokesperson, Kerry told the PA chief that he expected to meet him in the near future in order to discuss restarting negotiations with Israel. Kerry told Abbas that President Barack H. Obama supported such talks, and that he hoped both sides would agree to participate.

      In response, a Hamas official said that Abbas should not “fall victim to the temptation” to an offers by Kerry and Obama to negotiate. “A visit by Kerry” to the PA “will bring nothing new except for more promises that will be used to fool and cheat us,” the spokesperson said, adding that he did not expect any substantial changes in American foreign policy.

      A day earlier, Kerry called President Shimon Peres, getting an update on efforts by Binyamin Netanyahu to build a new coalition, and “exchanging views” on regional matters, Kerry's office said. Kerry also spoke to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, getting an update on Turkey's investigation into the suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara Friday.