Kerry urges Israel, Palestinians to extend 9-month talks

Photo: Kerry urges Israel, Palestinians to extend 9-month talks / U.S.A.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Israel and the Palestinians to extend their peace talks beyond the nine-month time frame to avoid a possible failure, Israel's Public Channel 1 news reported Friday evening.

The report said Kerry made the suggestion amid mounting difficulties faced by the negotiations, Xinhua reported.

In their respective meetings with Kerry, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas showed irreconcilable positions.

While Netanyahu insisted on security posts on the outskirts of the West Bank to confront threats to Israel, Abbas opposed the deployment of Israeli forces on the land of a future Palestinian state.

However, the report said the top U.S. diplomat showed optimism at the end of his trip to Israel, saying "Israel and the Palestinians are closer to a peace agreement than they have been in years."

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