John Kerry to Meet With Mahmoud Abbas in London on Thursday

Focus of Talks Will be U.S., Palestinian Relationship

Getty Images

By Reuters

Published May 12, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet in London on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said, less than a month after a U.S. effort to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal collapsed.

The focus of the talks is the U.S.-Palestinian relationship, the State Department said, a possible reference to whether Washington can keep funding the Palestinian Authority if it carries out a unity agreement with the Islamist Hamas faction.

“While the door remains open to a peace process, the purpose of the meeting is to discuss our ongoing relationship with the Palestinians,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a brief statement on Monday.

“As he has throughout the process, Secretary Kerry will reiterate a call he has made to both sides to maintain restraint and refrain from steps that would be unhelpful,” she added.

Offering his first public account of Kerry’s failed nine-month effort to strike a peace deal by April 29, U.S. special envoy Martin Indyk last week made clear there was blame on both sides, citing Israeli settlement-building as well as the Palestinians’ signing of 15 international conventions.

Israel suspended the talks on April 24 after Abbas’s unexpected unity pact with Hamas, a step that appeared to be the final nail in the coffin of the U.S.-sponsored negotiations.

While Abbas announced the planned unity government as a step toward Palestinian elections, many such pacts between the Fatah faction that dominates the Palestinian Authority-run West Bank and Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, have unraveled.

If it were carried through, it could jeopardize U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Annual U.S. aid to the Palestinians has run at about $500 million in recent years, although it fell to roughly $440 million in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2013, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

By law, U.S. aid to the Palestinians may not benefit Hamas, which Washington regards as a terrorist group, “or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.