Chicken Soup Anyone? Abbas and Kerry Complain About Colds, Stress
In a recent meeting, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bonded over a shared ailment: a common cold, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The commiseration took place at the start of a meeting in Paris on Wednesday about the ongoing Israel-Palestinian Authority peace talks.
Such sessions are kept private but reporters and television crews are frequently allowed to listen to greetings and small-talk at the start of the meetings, according to the publication. A pool reporter noted the full exchange between the officials:
Kerry asked Abbas “you’re feeling strong, feeling good?” to which he replied, “So strong.” Lead U.S. negotiator Martin Indyk chimed in adding, “You look fresh.”
“Yeah, but I’m very stressed,” Abbas replied, to which Kerry said, “Yeah, I’m sure, working hard. There’s a lot going on.”
Abbas then told the U.S. secretary of state that he had been sick with a cold for two weeks and Kerry responded, “Oh really? I think I had one for a month, a solid month.”
Abbas added: “…I think I got it in Moscow.”
Kerry and Abbas met again on Thursday after spending more than two hours discussing Israel-PA peace the day before. There is an April 29 deadline in place for the talks which aim to conclude with an agreement between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.