Daily Israel Report

Kerry Has 'No Regrets' Over Failed Peace Efforts

Secretary of State "has not a moment of regret" for investing time in Middle East peace, says spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/30/2014, 4:14 AM

John Kerry
John Kerry
Reuters

Despite the failure of his Middle East peace efforts, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has “no regrets”, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

"The secretary has not a moment of regret about every ounce of time he's spent on this effort," Jen Psaki told reporters, according to an AFP report.

She acknowledged that Tuesday, which Kerry had set as a deadline for reaching a full peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority (PA), had expired without a deal.

"The original negotiating period was set to run until April 29th, today. There's nothing special about that date now," Psaki said, adding that Kerry, who single-handedly dragged the sides back the negotiations after a three-year hiatus, has "no regrets about the time he spent investing in this process."

"We've reached a point... where a pause is necessary... a holding period, where parties will figure out what they want to do next," said Psaki, according to AFP.

She refused to attribute blame for the collapse in the talks to either side in the dispute, saying both had taken "unhelpful" steps.

Nor would she "look into a rear-view mirror" to analyze what had gone wrong with the American effort, saying only that there were "difficult choices to make. There's a lot of history here."

Israel officially pulled out of the talks last week, in response to a unity pact between Fatah and the Hamas terrorist group and has begun to implement sanctions on the PA in response to the pact.

In a apparent shift in the U.S. policy, Psaki appeared to suggest that Washington may be prepared to accept a reconciliation government providing it stood by principles such as non-violence and recognizing the state of Israel.

"If the unity government accepts certain principles, then it hasn't been our position to oppose that," Psaki said.

But she stressed: "They haven't indicated a desire to abide by the principles -- Hamas, that is."

Last week, Psaki denied that Kerry’s efforts to secure a peace treaty had failed, saying instead that the talks are in a “moment of transition”.