US: Bid for Israeli-Arab peace not on the agenda

US State Dept. denies reports John Kerry traveling soon to Israel to broker new peace talks with Palestinians.

Nitsan Keidar,

John Kerry
John Kerry
Reuters

The US State Department swiftly dismissed an Israeli report Saturday night that US Secretary of State John Kerry would visit Israel in the coming weeks in an effort to renew peace talks. 

Channel 2 estimated in its report that Kerry would attempt some kind of "limited political process" between Israel and the Palestinians, even if it would not lead to a major diplomatic breakthrough. 

The report also posited the US administration might seek "to impose" some sort of accord in the finals months of Obama's presidency. 

However, the State Department stressed Sunday that Kerry has no definite plans to visit Israel in the near future. 

Responding to the Times of Israel's coverage of the report on Twitter, State Department spokesman John Kirby wrote: "No plans by John Kerry to travel soon to Israel. Also no plan by him to restart talks." 

"Need both sides to reduce violence," Kirby added, asserting that it would help demonstrate each side's desire to begin talking. 

In a recent "State of the Union" address on policies for his last year in office, US President Barack Obama did not highlight negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as one of his major goals. 

The Americans later clarified they did not mean to ignore the issue - but that Obama has more significant plans for the coming year in terms of foreign policy. 

That said, the US stressed it would remain involved in the politics of the Middle East and possibly attempt to renew peace efforts at some point. 




top