PA Official: No Progress in Abbas, Kerry Meeting

John Kerry (R) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: WAFA)

A meeting on Sunday between president Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry failed to make any progress on Palestinian conditions to restart talks with Israel, the PA ambassador to Turkey said.

Nabil Maarouf told Ma’an that the Istanbul meeting did not address Palestinian concerns about a halt to settlement activity and the release of prisoners before any possible peace talks.

However, the US secretary of state promised to help economic development and investment in the West Bank, Maarouf said.

Kerry also set a timeline for peace talks, encouraging both sides to resume negotiations by the end of May. Future meetings with the US official will determine Abbas’ next steps in terms of negotiations, Maarouf said.

The PA ambassador said that Abbas and Kerry did not discuss the upcoming visit to Gaza of Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but Abbas had previously contacted Turkish officials to ask that they postpone the visit.

On Sunday, Hamas slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry for urging the Turkish prime minister to delay a visit to the coastal territory.

Kerry told reporters on Sunday he had asked the Turkish PM to wait for the “right conditions” before going ahead with a planned visit next month to Gaza.

(Ma’an – maannews.net)

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