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Kerry seeks to revive Mideast peace plan

中国日报网 2013-04-09 10:38

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US Secretary of State John Kerry is looking to breathe new life into dormant Middle East peace talks in meetings on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli and Palestinian officials, amid talk of modifying a decade-old Arab plan that's long been greeted with skepticism by the Jewish state.

Kerry is trying to end a stalemate between the Israelis and Palestinians during which the countries have hardly negotiated peace at all. Kerry has yet to outline any new plan, but US officials said he is exploring several ideas to try to corral both sides back into direct talks.

Palestinian and Arab officials have pointed to one idea in particular: An attempt to revive, with modifications, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which offered a comprehensive peace with Israel in exchange for a pullout from territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The officials said Kerry is seeking greater Arab-Israeli security commitments and softer language on borders as part of the plan.

But key obstacles remain. Israel has not lifted its objections, and the Palestinians said they turned down a request from Kerry for the proposed changes.

On Sunday, Kerry and Abbas discussed reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but neither side offered details on how, when and whether that might happen.

Kerry, who spoke with Abbas for about an hour after a 20-minute group meeting, is on his third trip to the region in two weeks, having accompanied US President Barack Obama on his March 20-22 visit and returned alone a day later.

A senior US official described Sunday's talks, which took place after a week marked by clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces in the West Bank, as a constructive meeting but said little about substance.

Questions:

1. What is Kerry trying to end?

2. What year was the Arab Peace Initiative created?

3. What are the key obstacles that remain?

Answers:

1. A stalemate between the Israelis and Palestinians.

2. 2002.

3. Israel has not lifted its objections, and the Palestinians said they turned down a request from Kerry for the proposed changes.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.

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