Kerry, Abbas meet in New York to discuss Gaza situation

Kerry, Abbas meet in New York to discuss Gaza situation

NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
Kerry, Abbas meet in New York to discuss Gaza situation

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L ) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a bilateral meeting on Sept. 23, in New York.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas Sept. 23 to discuss the situation in Gaza, a state department official said.

The meeting in New York came as leaders converged for the United Nations General Assembly, and a day after Abbas gave a speech at Cooper Union vowing to present a new timetable for peace talks with Israel.        

Kerry and Abbas agreed on the importance of providing humanitarian aid in Gaza, where a 50-day war with Israel destroyed homes and infrastructure in densely populated Gaza, leaving more than 100,000 Palestinians homeless in the long term, according to the United Nations.

The top U.S. diplomat also reiterated Washington's support for a two-state solution and its willingness to support negotiations.

Speaking Sept. 22, Abbas drew parallels with the century-long U.S. struggle for civil rights, saying he was bringing a message of peace.

The veteran Palestinian leader is set to address the annual U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 26. Palestinian leaders have said Abbas intends to propose a three-year deadline for the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Kerry's high-profile bid to hammer out a full peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinian Authority collapsed spectacularly in April amid bitter recriminations on both sides, despite more than a year of shuttle diplomacy.