Secretary of State John Kerry tried to explain at a press conference at Ben-Gurion International Airport why he had been investing most of his time over the past months in a desperate attempt to renew the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
He said that in every country he had visited – China, Japan, throughout Europe and in the Persian Gulf – and before coming here, during meetings with the foreign ministers of Brazil and New Zealand – the first question that came up was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “This is a global concern,” Kerry said.
On Friday, Kerry concluded precisely two months of talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. During that time he met privately and spoke on the phone with each of them at least 10 times. Kerry was considering returning to Jerusalem and Ramallah one more time on Monday, but felt that for the time being he had gotten as much as possible out of the talks with the two leaders, and that now the ball was in their court.
Before he left, the secretary made clear to Netanyahu and Abbas that he expects answers within one to two weeks. He said he was going to be dealing with other of his responsibilities as secretary of state while others, meaning Abbas and Netanyahu, thought about “the hard decisions that need to be made.”
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