Top US diplomat dismisses reports that Israeli-Palestinian talks have hit roadblock; says Netanyahu and Abbas still committed to moving forward
Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are committed to continuing peace talks, despite grumblings over a lack of visible progress in five months of negotiations, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.
Kerry made his remarks at Ben-Gurion international Airport outside of Tel Aviv before taking off from Israel, after three meetings with Netanyahu and one with Abbas over the last two days.
“I believe we are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace and prosperity that all the people in this region yearn for,” he said.
Kerry quoted recently deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela’s remark that “it is always impossible until it is done,” saying that the Middle East needed to take that idea to heart.
“Despite the fact that we are discussing really difficult, complicated issues, I am encouraged by the continued commitment of both leaders to the pursuit of peace, and they both underscored their commitment to continue to work through these difficult issues in the days ahead,” continued Kerry. “The naysayers are wrong to call peace in this region an impossible goal.”