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INTERNATIONAL > Cola CEO, ex-UK PM on board for Mideast peace

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse

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Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP photo

Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP photo

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Appropriations Committee on April 17 that the CEO of Coca-Cola, Muhtar Kent, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the special envoy for the Middle East Quartet, had agreed to take on the job to try to “move the economics of the Palestinian Authority forward... a quantum leap.”

“We’re going to bring people who have the ability to do transformative change to the table and try to move the economy,” Kerry told lawmakers.

The top U.S. diplomat who is is currently working on a plan to try to boost the Palestinian economy, had said last week that he would provide full details of the plan in near future.

Appearing before U.S. lawmakers for the first time since becoming America’s top diplomat in February, Kerry warned that time was slipping away to reach a Middle East peace deal, stressing for the first time that there may only be a year or two left. “I believe the window for a two-state solution is shutting. I think we have some period of time - a year to year-and-a-half to two years - or it’s over,” Kerry warned.

April/19/2013

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