Kerry to return to Mideast over Iran, peace talks

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will return to the Middle East early next month to discuss Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the State Department said on Wednesday.

During his stay in Jerusalem, the top American envoy will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss a range of issues, including Iran and ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians, State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said in a statement.

The United States and Israel differ sharply over the interim nuclear deal reached days ago between Iran and the P5+1 group of the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany to buy time for more negotiations to strike a comprehensive agreement.

Netanyahu called the interim deal a “bad” one and a “historic mistake,” saying the major powers are giving too much by easing sanctions on Iran in exchange for its curbing of some nuclear activities.

While in Ramallah, Kerry will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the ongoing final-status negotiations with Israel, which were restarted in late July with a view to finalizing an agreement by the end of April next year, Psaki said.

Blames traded by the two sides have brought the talks to a halt, but Psaki told reporters reaffirmed their commitment to the nine-month timeframe.

“There are interest for both parties to continue the negotiations,” she said.

The forthcoming trip on Dec. 3-6 will also take Kerry to Belgium’s Brussels for NATO meetings and Chisinau, capital of Moldova, Psaki said.

By Xinhua


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