Kerry: time for action in Mideast

Jan. 10, 2005 at 10:50 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Monday lauded the Palestinian presidential election but said it is now time for action.

"Words are easy. Actions are harder," he told reporters after meting with new Palestinian President-elect Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Kerry is in the region as an observer to the Palestinian presidential election, which was held Sunday. Abbas beat six other candidates, securing more than 62 percent of the vote, according to results released Monday.

Kerry said it is now important for the international community to support the Palestinian Authority in its bid to improve the condition of its people and attempt peace with Israel.

Kerry, who in November lost the U.S. presidential election to President Bush, is in the region as part of a tour that also took him to Iraq and Syria.

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