Kerry tells Peres he sees ‘road ahead’ on peace

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Israel said he sees “a road ahead” on the two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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Kerry made his remarks in a statement Monday afternoon following a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

“It has been expressed by your leaders and others for years that people believe in the possibility of the two-state solution. I am convinced there is a road forward,” Kerry said. “would say to everyone that I have no illusions about the difficulties, we’ve seen them. But you have to believe in the possibilities to be able to get there. You and I believe in them and I’m convinced there is a road ahead.”

Kerry and Peres met on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hashoah, after Kerry participated in the national wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem. The secretary of state said it was an honor “to share in the uniqueness of that expression of sorrow and honor for this remarkable moment in history which we mark,” adding that the wailing of the siren marking the Holocaust remembrance “had a profound impact on me.”

Peres said the “Iranian regime with its hegemonic ambition is the greatest threat to peace, security and regional stability. Today of all days we should condemn that regime, which denies the Holocaust and threatens another one. We have full faith in you, in President Obama and in the global coalition which is committed to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.”

Kerry responded that the Obama administration “understand(s) the threat of Iran and as the president has said many times he doesn’t bluff. He is serious and we will stand with Israel against this threat, and with the rest of the world who have underscored that all we are looking for is Iran to live up to its international obligations.”

Also Monday, Kerry met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad after meeting a day earlier with P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas. No statements were issued after the meetings.

Kerry was scheduled to meet with other Israeli officials on Monday and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday before leaving the country.

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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