Kerry talks Mideast peace with Abbas, leaders of Egypt, Jordan
SHARM EL SHEIKH - Agence France-Presse
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) walks to his motorcade after being greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Stephen Beecroft (L) in Sharm el-Sheikh March 13, 2015, where Kerry is scheduled to participate in the Egypt Economic Development Conference. REUTERS PhotoUS Secretary of State John Kerry held talks Friday with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and the leaders of Egypt and Jordan on the stalled Middle East peace process, officials said.
Kerry was attending an investment conference in Egypt's Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh along with hundreds of prominent figures to jumpstart its economy.
Ahead of the conference Kerry met Abbas, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah II to discuss the peace process, a State Department official and Sisi's office said.
The four leaders discussed creating an environment to "push forward the peace process to reach a comprehensive and just peace in the region," Sisi's office said in a statement.
During the meeting Sisi "emphasised that achieving peace and stability in the region will bring stability to all the countries in the region," the statement said.
Kerry led a bid last year to try to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, but his efforts collapsed amid bitter recriminations by both sides.
Last month the United States voiced fears that the Palestinian Authority may be teetering on the brink of collapse because of a lack of funding, as Israel withholds taxes and donor aid stalls.
"We continue to be concerned about the PA," a State Department official told reporters travelling with Kerry on his plane before the four leaders met.
"It's really part of the continuous, ongoing conversation we're having with the critical stakeholders here," the official said, asking not to be named.
After the conference, Kerry will fly to Lausanne in Switzerland on Sunday for fresh negotiations with Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Talks with global powers for a deal reining in Iran's uranium enrichment programme in return for sanctions relief are reaching a critical stage as a March 31 deadline for a political framework accord looms.
With uncertainty still surrounding the deal, the State Department has not said how long Kerry will stay in Lausanne nor when he is expected to return to Washington.