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Kerry: 'Core Issue of Instability ... Is the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict'

6:19 PM, Jul 17, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
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Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in Jordan for talks with area leaders and a meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative Follow-Up Committee.  After a meeting with Jordanian foreign minister Nasser Judeh, Kerry made some rather sweeping remarks about the role the Palestinian-Israeli conflict plays in not only regional but global stability [emphasis added]:

Peace is in the common interest of everybody in this region. And as many ministers said to me today in the meeting that we had – many of them – they said that the core issue of instability in this region and in many other parts of the world is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The only way to resolve that is through direct negotiations, and the only ones who can make that happen are not President Obama, John Kerry, Nasser Judeh, but it is the parties themselves. They have to make that decision.

Kerry also had high praise for the Arab Peace Initiative and the part it could play in bringing peace between Israel and fifty-seven Arab and Muslim nations:

[T]he Arab Peace Initiative, which King Abdullah put forward a number of years ago, I have said before, was a very important departure point and one which never received the full attention and focus that it should have. 

I’m glad that it is today because it promises to open up significant potential for normalized relations, for the potential for trade and growth in historic and very important ways. And it promises Israel – Israel needs to look hard at this initiative, which promises Israel peace with 22 Arab nations and 35 Muslim nations, a total of 57 nations that are standing and waiting for the possibility of making peace with Israel.

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