Kerry Calls Abbas, Tries to Keep Talks Alive
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is still trying to save the faltering peace talks, on Wednesday phoned Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the PA-based Ma’an news agency reported.
According to the report, the two agreed to continue speaking in the coming days, and Abbas emphasized that the PA was “committed to international resolutions to arrive at a just peace with Israel.”
The phone call came one day after Abbas breached the conditions of the peace talks by signing a request to join several UN agencies.
The move resulted in Kerry cancelling a planned meeting with Abbas in Ramallah, though he later declared that it was too early to officially declare that the peace talks were dead.
The unilateral move by the PA effectively torpedoes the peace talks, which were set to continue until April 29, and which have been stalling of late amid Abbas's consistent refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
Nevertheless, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, U.S. mediator Martin Indyk, and the PA negotiator Saeb Erekat met in Jerusalem Wednesday night in another last-ditch effort to salvage failing peace talks.
The PA has blamed Israel for the talks failing, citing its refusal to release the fourth batch of terrorists it agreed to release as a “gesture” to Abbas.