The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

January 6, 2014

Kerry cites some Mideast progress

(Continued)

RAMALLAH, West Bank —

“I think over the next week, we have some very serious homework — all of us — to do,” Kerry said.

The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said after the Kerry-Abbas discussions that “failure, to us, is not an option.”

He urged Israel to refrain from taking any steps that would pre-empt or prevent negotiations on a final agreement, such as new Israeli settlements or the demolition of Palestinian homes. He said Kerry had not presented any proposed documents to the Palestinian side, only ideas, and that the U.S. seeks a permanent, not interim solution to the conflict.

Ahead of Kerry’s arrival in the region this week, Israel had said it would announce plans to build 1,400 new Jewish settlement homes. But Israel backed off making the announcement, at least while Kerry was around.

On Sunday, Kerry planned to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Amman. From there, Kerry was set to visit Riyahd for talks Saudi King Abdullah.

Kerry was expected to return to Jerusalem Sunday night and be back in Washington early this coming week.

Next weekend, Kerry said he would meet with members of the Arab League to discuss the status of the talks.

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