Top US diplomat meets Palestinian President Abbas in Istanbul to push Mideast peace
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, April 21, 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey. Kerry is wrapping up a 24-hour visit to Istanbul with talks aimed at improving ties between Turkey and Israel and pushing ahead with Mideast peace efforts. AP Photo/Evan Vucci, PoolU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today in Istanbul to push ahead with Middle East peace efforts.
Kerry and Abbas, who have met several times recently, will “continue the conversation that they’ve been having for several weeks now about how to get both sides back to the table,” a State Department official said yesterday.
Kerry warned last week that time was slipping away to reach a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, stressing for the first time that there may only be a year or two left to achieve peace.
The top U.S. diplomat is working on a plan to try to boost the Palestinian economy as part of efforts to restore trust between the two sides. The plan will be discussed in the talks with Abbas, the State Department official said.
Abbas was visiting Turkey over the weekend for talks with top officials including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.