Kerry ‘hopeful’ of striking final Mideast peace deal

Kerry rejected speculation the sides would initially be led to an interim agreement.

Written by PTI | Jerusalem | Published: December 14, 2013 2:18 am

US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday said he hoped to help achieve a peace deal that would encompass Israeli security needs and Palestinian sovereignty. “We are working on an approach that both guarantees Israel’s security and fully respects Palestinian sovereignty,” he told reporters accompanying him in Tel Aviv at the end of a visit including meetings with both sides. “We remain hopeful that we can achieve that final status agreement.” Kerry rejected speculation the sides would initially be led to an interim agreement. “Our goal remains as it always has been — for the Israelis and Palestinians to reach a final status agreement — not an interim agreement,a final status agreement,” he said. “And both parties remain committed to fulfilling their obligations to stay at the table and negotiate hard” when talks were launched at the end of July,he said.

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