[Monday January 6, 2014] US Secretary of State John Kerry is on his way home today, after four days of intense diplomacy, insisting that progress has been made and despite the failure of any framework peace agreement to be reached during Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Ma’an/AFP)Ma’an News Agency reports that, during his tour, Kerry spent hours locked in separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He also payed a surprise visit to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia authored a peace plan, in 2002, which forms the basis of Arab aspirations for any settlement with Israel. The plan proposed a normalization of relations between Israel and the entire Arab world, in return for a withdrawal from all occupied Arab lands and justice to be implemented over the Palestinian refugee crisis.
The plan has been mostly ignored by Israeli officials and, since talks began, Israel has issued plans for thousands of illegal settlements.
Palestinians, meanwhile, have been adamant in their refusal to recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish state’, and remain steadfast in their opposition to the stationing of Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley, which forms a third of the West Bank.
Israeli media said that Kerry would be returning to the region next week.