U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry set off this morning for the Jordanian capital to meet Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in hopes of heading off a diplomatic disaster. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters in Europe the goal of the meeting is to “continue to narrow the gaps between the parties.”
Kerry is on a mission to convince Abbas to reverse his position that he has no intention of continuing negotiations with Israel over the U.S. sponsored “framework agreement.”
Nine months of negotiations for a final status agreement have resulted in little more than Israel’s release of 78 PA terrorists and the opening of more roadblocks at pivotal points leading to Arab cities along major arteries in Judea and Samaria as a “good will gesture” to jump start the talks.
No significant negotiations have taken place since November 2013 despite the move.
Abbas made his position clear at the Arab League summit yesterday in Kuwait, saying the PA did not need new agreements that would be “buried” by Israel through reservations and preconditions. The PA leader has continued to maintain his insistence that Israel pull back to the 1949 Armistice line. Both the PA and the Arab League have refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish State – a red line for Israel in the negotiations – and both insist the PA create its desired independent state on “all the territories that were occupied in 1967.”