US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday cited progress in his efforts to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a framework agreement for a peace deal, dpa reported.
"We are trying to find a framework agreement that would really lay out the end zone, layout the framework to guide the negotiations from this point forward," Kerry said in the West Bank city of Ramallah after a second meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas.
"I am confident that the talks we have had in the last two days have already fleshed out and even resolved certain kinds of issues and presented new opportunities for others," he added. "The progress we made is sufficient to encourage people to keep going."
Kerry made his 10th visit to the region in less than a year to prevent the collapse of talks launched in 2013 with the aim of reaching a framework deal before a May deadline.
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.
Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a second time before flying to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.