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PA: We Didn't Mean to Upset Kerry

Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath tries to do damage control after Kerry says he will "evaluate" his next steps.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 4/4/2014, 8:26 PM

Nabil Shaath
Nabil Shaath
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) tried to do some damage control on Friday, after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he would "evaluate" his next steps regarding the peace talks.

Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath said Friday evening, according to Channel 2 News, that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas “did not mean to upset Kerry” when he  breached the conditions of the peace talks by applying to 15 UN agencies.

Shaath said that the UN move was aimed against Israel and not against the Americans.

“The Palestinian appeal to international institutions was meant to highlight Israel's failure to release the security prisoners," he said, adding that he believed Kerry will return to the region and continue his efforts to reach a peace agreement.

“I believe that Kerry will be back because he has not yet abandoned the process," Shaath explained, adding, “We will continue negotiations as agreed and I hope the patience of Americans will end towards the Israelis, not towards the Palestinians.”

Earlier Friday, Kerry declared he would be speaking with President Barack Obama about the future of the talks.

"I will be having conversations with the administration today, including the president, and we're going to evaluate exactly what is possible and what is not possible," he said.

"There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps," said Kerry, who added, "Both parties say they want to continue, neither party has said they want to call it off; but we're not going to sit there indefinitely, this is not an open-ended effort.”

Kerry admitted on Thursday that there was little he could do to save the talks, saying "you can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions to compromise."

Senior U.S. officials close to Kerry said Friday that he may give up on the peace talks soon, warning he has to "go out and own the failure," or risk "looking desperate."

(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.)