Kerry: Agreement to Intensify Israel-Palestinian Talks

Says US Participation Will 'Increase Somewhat'

by Jason Ditz, September 25, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry has reported that the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority have agreed to “intensify” peace talks, the first significant public comment he has made on the process in months.

According to Kerry, the talks will now involve two tracks, the current negotiators track, and talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The US has also agreed to increase its participation “somewhat.”

That was likely at the Palestinians’ behest, as they have complained that Israel sidelined the US almost immediately and then dictated their own terms for any agreements.

The talks haven’t made much, if any, progress in the past few months, as the Palestinians cancelled talks after the late August Israeli attack on a refugee camp.

Details have been light on the talks, however, reportedly because Secretary Kerry imposed a promise not to publicly discuss the talks on both sides, and has lashed out at Palestinians for criticizing the lack of progress.

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