TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kerry reaches out to Israeli, Palestinian leaders during 1st weekend as secretary of State

AP
In this photo Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, U.S. Sen. John Kerry acknowledges applause while addressing constituents at Faneuil Hall in Boston. New Secretary of State John Kerry reached out to Israeli and Palestinian leaders in phone calls this weekend, assuring them the Obama administration will continue to pursue a Mideast peace agreement while recognizing the individual concerns on both sides. AP Photo

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, 9:35 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — New Secretary of State John Kerry reached out to Israeli and Palestinian leaders in phone calls this weekend, assuring them the Obama administration will continue to pursue a Mideast peace agreement while recognizing the individual concerns on both sides.

Kerry told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his and President Obama's commitment to support Israel's security and to pursue a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Netanyahu updated Kerry on his work to form a new government. They also discussed Iran and Syria, and pledged to work together closely.

Kerry commended the Israeli decision to release frozen tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority as an important step. Israel's monthly tax transfers to the Palestinians — the result of taxes and customs duties that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians — are a key element in the Palestinian government budget.

In his conversation on Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry said Obama “is very interested in the peace process and aware of the economic hardships of the Palestinian people,” Abbas spokesman Nabel Abu Rdeneh said. Rdeneh noted that Kerry said he would visit the region for further talks with Abbas “to preserve the political path.” No time was set for the visit.

The department said Kerry spoke with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Saturday about the formation of the country's new government, and said the two “exchanged views” on the peace process and regional matters.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Supreme Court will hear challenge to EPA’s power-plant rules
  2. Brown family blasts prosecutor; Wilson speaks
  3. E-cigarettes cut cravings, study finds
  4. Ferguson grand jury focused on fatal ‘tussle’
  5. United Mine Workers responds to strike complaint
  6. Mo. governor adds guardsmen as protests continue
  7. Protest in Cleveland over 12-year-old’s shooting death chokes off traffic
  8. Illegals protected by Obama in line for Social Security, Medicare, other benefits
  9. In IRS ‘rife with scandal,’ staff to receive bonuses
  10. Oregon recounts votes on measure to label GMO foods
  11. EPA eyes stringent air quality standards
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.