U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, held a meeting on Thursday [June 24 2013] with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem, and held talks on various issues, topped by the efforts to resume the stalled political talks between Israel and the Palestinians.The U.S. Secretary of State also intends to hold a meeting with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on Friday.
Israeli sources claimed that President Abbas “is not interested in resuming talks with Tel Aviv”, and that he only wants to continue what was described as “unilateral moves” at the United Nations, instead of making concrete moves.
During their meeting, Netanyahu told Kerry that Israel ‘would face a real threat as a Jewish State should it become a bi-national state.’
Israeli daily, Haaretz, has reported that Kerry and Netanyahu met for three hours over dinner on Thursday at night, and that Kerry stated that he would not have returned to the region if he did not think resuming direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is possible.
Haaretz added that Kerry revealed that he aims at showing real progress before this coming September, as the United Nations General Assembly intends to resume talks on the situation in the Middle East.
It also stated that Netanyahu believes that “the Palestinians will use the stalled peace talks in order to file more applications and statehood moves at the United Nations without resuming direct talks with Tel Aviv.”
Kerry is trying to avoid making promises or setting clear agendas, and is shifting towards trying to find a common ground between Israel and the Palestinians to use it as a launching point of talks.
Such a common ground does not address any of the vital issues such as the borders of the future Palestinian State, the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, and the future of Jerusalem.
Israeli Ynet News quoted a minister of the Netanyahu government stating that Netanyahu is making tactical moves, and wants to convince the Americans that he is serious about achieving peace in the region.
The source told the Ynet that Netanyahu wants to position himself in the center, and has no problem in “shifting his position to the center”.
It added that the internal conflicts within the Likud party of Netanyahu do not yet have any agenda, or any real decisions to be made, and that Netanyahu does not have anything to lose in his party.
It is worth mentioning that Kerry visited the region seven times over the last three months, and held separate talks with Netanyahu, Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan, in an attempt to resume direct talks.
Kerry also repeatedly phoned Abbas and Netanyahu.
Kerry’s meeting with Netanyahu came after he concluded his trip to Jordan where he met with King Abdullah, and discussed peace talks and the current clashes in Syria, especially since more than 500.000 Syrian refugees fled into Jordan.