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286 words - July 22, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On July 19, while on an official visit to Amman, the capital city of Jordan, US Secretary of State John Kerry was pleased to announce that "we have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis."
After thanking the Jordanian authorities and the Arab League (AL) for their "enormous" support, Mr. Kerry explained that "establishing the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations" demanded "courageous leadership" and "difficult choices" from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.
The latter said he viewed the resumption of the diplomatic process at this time as a "vital strategic interest of the State of Israel," and that Israel is now faced with two main goals: "Preventing the creation of a bi-national state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River that would endanger the future of the Jewish state and preventing the establishment of an additional Iranian-sponsored terrorist state on Israel's borders."
In a telephone conversation with Mr. Abbas, Israeli President Shimon Peres also emphasized the need to address the terrorist threat, stressing "Hamas has to understand that terror will not provide food for its people, only the path of peace can do that." The Palestinian President expressed his hope that progress will be made and that there will be an independent Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel.
According to the US Department of State, the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Mr. Netanyahu's Special Envoy for peace talks Isaac Molho will be joining Mr. Kerry in Washington D.C. to begin initial talks within the next days.
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