Kerry, Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem to discuss restarting peace talks

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem to discuss restarting negotiations with the Palestinians.

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The two leaders also discussed the Iranian nuclear threat and the dangers of the civil war in Syria.

Kerry and Netanyahu held a three-hour meeting on the last day of Kerry’s three-day visit to Israel.

Netanyahu said in remarks before the meeting that Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state and security are “foremost in our minds.”

“I am determined to not only to resume the peace process with the Palestinians but to make a serious effort to end this conflict once and for all,” Netanyahu said in remarks before the meeting. “This is a real effort, and we look forward to advance in this effort with you.”

Kerry addressed the Iranian issue, saying: “President Obama could not be more clear: Iran cannot have and will not have a nuclear weapon. And the United States of America has made clear that we stand not just with Israel but with the entire international community in making it clear that we are serious, we are open to negotiation, but it is not an open-ended, endless negotiation; it cannot be used as an excuse for other efforts to try to break out with respect to a nuclear weapon.”

Kerry on Monday participated in Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies and met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, a day after meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

It has been reported that Kerry is pushing for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which offered Israel a comprehensive peace with the Arab countries in the region in exchange for all land captured in 1967.

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