Kerry to visit Jordan in peace efforts

July 16, 2013 at 7:39 AM
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JERUSALEM, July 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Palestinian officials in Jordan to try to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Israeli officials said.

It will mark Kerry's sixth visit to the region since taking office in February, unnamed Israeli officials told Yedioth Ahronoth, Tuesday. The officials said Kerry, due to arrive in Jordan Wednesday, will not be visiting Israel. He plans to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab officials.

The officials said Kerry likely decided to forgo a visit to Israel because staff members had achieved progress in talks with Israeli officials. Kerry has said he believes more pressure must be placed on the Palestinian side.

The officials estimate if all goes according to plan, Kerry may as soon as next week officially announce the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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