Kerry says Goal of Talks is a Viable Palestinian State

RAMALLAH, December 5, 2013 (WAFA) – US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday after meeting President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah that the goal of the talks with Israel is to reach a viable Palestinian state.

“The goal here for everybody is a viable Palestinian state for the Palestinian people living side by side in peace with the state of Israel and the people of Israel,” he said.

Kerry, who had earlier met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and discussed a US security plan for the region, said that he also discussed the issue of security with Abbas.

“Today we discussed in great length the issue of security in the region, security for the state of Israel, security for the future of the Palestinians,” he said, adding that “I think that we made some progress in discussing some of the ideas.”

He said: “I think the interests are very similar but there are questions of sovereignty, questions of respect and dignity, which are obviously significant to the Palestinians and to Israelis.”

Kerry said progress in the talks will remain secret “for their duration in hope we’ll be able to sign an agreement.”

Kerry promised to continue with his efforts next week in the region and in Washington, stressing that “discussions will go on. The effort will continue and hopes for the possibility of peace in the region.”