Kerry to Meet Livni in London

Meeting is 'informal.' Livni is in London on a previously scheduled trip. Kerry met Abbas Wednesday.

AFP, Arutz Sheva ,

Kerry testifies before the House Foreign Affa
Kerry testifies before the House Foreign Affa

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet later Thursday with Israel's chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni in London, a US official said.

The meeting comes a day after the top US diplomat met with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas in the wake of the collapse last month of Kerry's dogged bid to broker a peace deal.

"Secretary Kerry will have an informal meeting with Israeli Justice Minister Livni this afternoon," a senior State Department official said.

Livni's very presence in the UK was only made possible after being given temporary diplomatic immunity by the British government, in an attempt to shield her from "war crimes" prosecution over her role as foreign minister during the 2008-2009 counter-terror Operation Cast Lead.

The Israeli minister is in London for a previously scheduled trip, and US officials have been keen to downplay any hopes of a breakthrough in the stymied peace process.

On Wednesday Kerry – who is in the British capital for talks on Syria – stressed to Abbas that the fate of the talks lies in the hands of the Israelis and Palestinians.

Kerry "reiterated the need for any Palestinian government to recognize Israel, commit to non-violence, and abide by previous agreements," a US official said in a statement.

He also "urged both sides to refrain from unhelpful steps".

Kerry coaxed the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table in July after a three-year hiatus, and both sides agreed to keep talking for nine months.

But the April 29 deadline expired with the peace process in disarray, forcing Kerry and his team to declare a "pause" in the negotiations.