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John Kerry heads to Ramallah for peace talks with Palestinians

Jan. 3, 2014 at 11:38 AM   |   Comments

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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry headed to Ramallah Friday to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas following a meeting in Jerusalem, officials said.

As Kerry was on his way to Ramallah to work out a framework agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Palestinians took to the streets, chanting "Kerry go home," Haaretz reported.

About 300 Palestinians showed up at a demonstration organized by the left-wing Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Police stopped protesters from marching to Ramallah's presidential compound, where Abbas was expected to receive Kerry.

Earlier Friday, Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Israeli envoy Isaac Molho for three hours to discuss the framework agreement.

Before that, he met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who told Kerry that he is greatly invested in reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians.

"Continued dialogue with the Palestinians is of great importance," Lieberman said.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is also in Israel and said he believes Netanyahu is doubting the framework that has so far been drafted.

"Netanyahu has serious, serious concerns about the plan as it has been presented to him, whether it be on the ability of Israel to defend its borders, on the reliability of a Palestinian state ... and particularly on the overall security," McCain said.

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