Kerry discusses framework deal with Palestinian President

Photo: Kerry discusses framework deal with Palestinian President / Arab World

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Friday to promote a framework peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, dpa reported.

The talks occurred a day after Kerry held a five-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

America's top diplomat began his 10th visit to the Middle East in just under a year to push Israel and the Palestinians into thrashing out the framework accord before a nine-month deadline set for the talks ends in May.

The initial deal is aimed at mending deep rifts over core issues - including borders, the status of Jerusalem, mutual recognition and the fate of Palestinian refugees - before a final status agreement is reached.

Demonstrators in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority's seat of government in the West Bank, greeted Kerry with signs telling him to "Go home!" and calling him an "enemy of the Palestinian people" that only represents Israeli interests.

Earlier Friday, Kerry met Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, an ultra-nationalist who doubts a deal to end the decades-old conflict is possible.

Yet Kerry said that he remains undaunted by the scepticism, telling reporters Thursday that its "not mission impossible."

Further meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders could take place Saturday.

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