Kerry shuttles between Netanyahu and Abbas

June 28, 2013 at 2:20 PM
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JERUSALEM, June 28 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry engaged in shuttle diplomacy Friday, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and then returning to Jerusalem.

Kerry had met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a late dinner Thursday, Voice of America reported. He planned more talks Friday with Netanyahu after the meeting with Abbas in Jordan.

State Department officials denied reports Thursday of a face-to-face meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas. They called Kerry's meeting with Netanyahu "a productive, in depth, and wide-ranging conversation about the importance of moving forward on the peace process."

The formula Kerry is proffering calls for a series of meetings between Netanyahu and Abbas, some of which would be attended by the secretary of state, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The talks would be considered only part of the efforts to restart the peace process, not an actual renewal of negotiations, which would allow Abbas to circumvent preconditions he had set and avoid criticism, the Post said.

Kerry, who has been ardent about the need to resume talks before the end of the summer, arrived in Amman Wednesday for his fifth visit to the region this year. After lunch with Jordan's King Abdullah II, his convoy departed for Jerusalem.

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