Kerry and Netanyahu Hold Second Meeting
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, their second meeting in 24 hours.
The contents of the meeting were not disclosed, but the two agreed to meet for a third time on Saturday night. Kerry is currently on his fifth trip to the region since taking office, and is trying to get Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table.
On Thursday evening, Kerry and Netanyahu met for more than four hours, soon after Kerry arrived in Israel. The content of that meeting was not made public either, but Channel 10 News quoted members of Kerry’s entourage as saying that the Secretary hopes to convince Israel and the PA to hold a meeting next week attended by representatives from both sides. It is not yet clear whether the meeting will be between Israeli negotiators Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and attorney Yitzhak Molcho and their PA counterpart, Saeb Erekat, or between Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas themselves.
Kerry was in Jordan on Friday where he met with Abbas. Kerry is expected to hold a press conference on Saturday night in which he will summarize his latest visit to the Middle East.
Netanyahu has clearly indicated on more than one occasion that he is willing to return to the negotiating table without preconditions. Abbas, however, has refused to talk and has continued to impose preconditions on talks with Israel, including a demand that Israel release terrorists who were jailed before 1993, freeze construction in Judea and Samaria and even present a map of the future Palestinian state before any negotiations take place.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)