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April 11, 2013 3:04 am

Netanyahu to Kerry: I’m Determined to End Conflict with Palestinians

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John Kerry and Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem. Photo: Screenshot of Israel Hayom video.

At a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I am determined not only to resume the peace process with the Palestinians, but to make a serious effort to end this conflict once and for all.”

Netanyahu said his talks with Kerry about the peace process dealt with two key matters: Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and security arrangements. Israel wants to discuss these issues with the Palestinians and is demanding that the Palestinians present their positions on those matters.

Kerry characterized his talks with Netanyahu as “extremely friendly” and “very productive.”

“I think it’s fair to say that we made progress, that we were pleased with the substance of the discussion and agreed, each of us, to do some homework,” Kerry said.

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Palestinian officials in Ramallah told Israel Hayom on Tuesday that Kerry’s meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday had produced positive progress toward the possibility of restarting peace negotiations with Israel. But the Palestinian officials said that the peace plan that Kerry plans to present in the future is still clouded with uncertainty.

“Kerry came with much determination, willingness and goodwill,” a senior official from Abbas’s office told Israel Hayom. “He explained in his meeting with Abbas that he does not plan to impose timelines for resuming negotiations on the sides, but rather intends to focus first on building trust between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

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