by Naharnet Newsdesk 05 December 2013, 19:41
A top Palestinian negotiator on Thursday said peace talks with Israel were "difficult and complicated", after a meeting between Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"The situation is still very difficult and matters are complicated," Saeb Erakat told Agence France Presse.
"Abbas met Kerry for four hours... and discussed issues including security. We hope Israel will stick to its commitments and be forced to stop settlement building. Settlements are the reason for the difficulties in negotiations," he said.
Kerry met Abbas at the president's headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah after a more than three-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The U.S. top diplomat reiterated the importance of Israel's security, which was the focus of his first visit to the region since signing an historic nuclear deal with Iran, an accord which angered the Israelis.
"We are not going to discuss this further publicly," Kerry told reporters after the meeting Abbas, saying only that their discussions on security had made "progress".
"I think the interests are very similar, but there are questions of sovereignty, questions of respect and dignity, which are obviously significant to the Palestinians, and for the Israelis very serious questions of security.
"Shortly, perhaps in a week or so, I may return for further discussions, depending on where we are," Kerry added.
Abbas made no public appearance after the meeting.
Ik denk dat we nog nooit zo dicht bij een overeenkomst tussen partijen zijn geweest als nu. Het lijkt wel alsof iedereen die bij de zaak is betrokken nu de ernst van deze gesprekken inziet.
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Het Parool, 19 11 2019, pagina 1. Trump erkent nederzettingen.