Kerry shifts to 'quiet strategy' to revive peace talks
By McClatchy Newspapers
Published: Monday, April 8, 2013, 8:54 p.m.
JERUSALEM — Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the “festering absence of peace” between Israelis and Palestinians only fuels extremism and that the time is right for renewed efforts toward resolving the decades-old conflict.
Kerry, speaking to a small group of reporters during his third trip to the region in a month, said he was embarking on a “quiet strategy” to wade through the deep reservoirs of mistrust on both sides in hopes of restarting serious negotiations. However, he emphasized that he's fully aware of the difficulties of reaching an enduring Israeli-Palestinian resolution and said he refused to be pinned down by guidelines or timetables.
“I understand it is a complicated, well-trod path of disappointments and/or moments of hope followed by breach of agreement or process,” Kerry said. “And that mistrust is very high, and that one of the reasons for these early interventions is to get right at the issue of mistrust.”
While the State Department plays down talk of a new shuttle diplomacy, it's clear that a Middle East peace deal is inching its way up the Obama administration's foreign policy agenda. The Obama administration was thrilled with its tentative success in thawing the icy relations between ironclad ally Israel and Turkey, a rising regional player that aspires to a leading role in the peace process.
And the fact that Kerry is back for a third time, not quite a month after accompanying President Obama to the region, signals that the administration is willing to devote real effort toward getting the parties back to the negotiating table. Both Israeli and Palestinian officials told McClatchy Newspapers last week that Kerry was interested in dusting off a long-ignored Arab initiative — called the Arab Peace Initiative — that would grant Israel full normalization with Arab states across the region in exchange for a final status solution and an independent Palestinian state.
Kerry landed in Jerusalem on Sunday evening and went straight to the Ramallah compound of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; he saw Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Fayyad. On the Israeli side, Kerry met with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.
“My dear friend, there is a new wind of peace blowing through the Middle East,” Peres told Kerry as he greeted him just before their private talk.
“A belief in peace is possible, is needed, is real. And peace is possible,” Peres continued.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Malaysia loses contact with plane carrying 239; 4 from U.S. aboard
- Statue of Egypt pharoanic princess found in Luxor
- China defends burgeoning military
- Russians adamant about vote
- Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend tells court at his murder trial of guns, temper
- Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 aboard feared lost
- Russian troops take over Ukraine’s Crimea region
- Separatists blamed for China knife attack; 33 dead
- World scrambles as Russia tightens grip on Crimea
- Blame splits on deadly China slashings at train station
- Despite holiday, Venezuelans continue to amass