John Kerry Sets Deadline for Middle East Peace Progress

Warns Israel and Palestinians He Will Drop Push

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By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published June 03, 2013.

If U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry determines that Israelis and Palestinians are not serious about the peace process, he will abandon his efforts on the matter.

Kerry has set a deadline of the end of this week for both sides to make progress.

In an article by Arshad Mohammed, the Reuters journalist responsible for covering the State Department in Washington; Mohammed cited those who called Kerry a “Lone Ranger” condemning the Middle East peace process, and that many involved call Kerry “naive.”

The senior U.S. official disputed the notion that Kerry was naive and said the Obama administration was prepared to abandon the effort if it decides that the two sides are not genuine about pursuing peace.

“That’s what shows he’s not naive,” said the official of Kerry’s willingness to pull back if he does not see both sides as ready. “There’s too many things going on in the world … You could bang your head on this for years and years and years.”

Kerry’s deadline for deciding whether there is any point in continuing diplomatic efforts to renew talks is nearing, while both sides are hardening their negotiating positions. Kerry expects answers from Jerusalem and Ramallah within two weeks.

For more go to Haaretz



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