Kerry visits Israel amid reports of faltering Israeli-Palestinian talks

Jerusalem, Dec 5: Amid reports of Israeli-Palestinian talks losing momentum, US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel late Wednesday.

Kerry has arrived in a bid to push forward negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which appear to be stuck, mainly due to Israel’s ongoing construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements, Xinhua reported.

Israeli officials, on their part, said the Palestinians are “looking for reasons” to avoid the talks and drag their feet throughout the nine months allocated for the talks and Netanyahu demands that the Palestinian president acknowledges Israel as a Jewish state and work to end the incitement against Israel.

Netanyahu and Kerry will meet Thursday morning . The visiting US secretary of state will also meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah later in the day and perhaps again with Netanyahu Thursday evening.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Palestinian Radio Wednesday afternoon that the Mideast talks are faltering. “Kerry must work to save the talks, to stop the deterioration of the talks caused by Israel’s continuing settlement activity.”

Other than the peace process, Kerry will also discuss the Iranian nuclear programme and interim agreement signed between the P5+1 countries and Iran in Geneva, which Netanyahu called a ” historic mistake”.

IANS