Kerry to 'Defend' Israel at UNHRC Meeting

US Secretary of State John Kerry in Switzerland Monday engaging in talks with Iran and defending Israel before UN Human Rights Council.

Cynthia Blank ,

John Kerry's Defense Tactics (file)
John Kerry's Defense Tactics (file)
Reuters

As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday prepares to criticize the United States for its nuclear negotiations with Iran, US Secretary of State John Kerry will be moving ahead with the talks. 

Kerry landed in Geneva late Sunday, Reuters reported, where he will engage in three days of conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. 

Additionally, talks between senior officials from Iran and the six powers negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear program will hold more talks in Montreux on March 5

During his trip to Switzerland, the Secretary of State will also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss issues involving Iran, peace negotiations to end the Syrian civil war, and the Ukraine crisis. 

Kerry is also scheduled to speak Monday at the United Nations Human Rights Council, where he is expected to defend Israel against the council's bias toward the Jewish state. 

"Our position is always very much in defense of Israel and protection of Israel’s interests at the Human Rights Council," an official on board Kerry's plane told reporters.

He added that any investigations into Israel's conduct should be "objective and neutral and not ... one-sided and biased."

One of Washington's main concerns, the official noted, is the UN's inquiry into last summer's Operation Protective Edge. A report investigating violations by each side of that conflict is due out on March 23. 

The official said the US wanted "to try to protect against any follow-on" steps after the report is released later this month.

Kerry has made several jabs at Netanyahu and Israel in the past week, even going so far as to question Netanyahu’s judgment when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program.

He took a more mollifying tone though, on Sunday, telling ABC that "the Prime Minister of Israel is welcome to speak in the United States."




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