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February 20, 2014 3:16 pm

Chicken Soup Anyone? Abbas and Kerry Complain About Colds, Stress

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with PA President Abbas in May 2013. Photo: State Department.

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.”

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“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.

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