House GOP tells Kerry to prioritize Middle East threats

Ros-Lehtinen said Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryObama phones Italian leader after deadly earthquake US arms sale to Saudi Arabia under fire from lawmakers Top Republican presses Kerry for Iran 'ransom' details MORE should stop pressuring Israel and the Palestinians on an unlikely peace deal and start addressing more pressing concerns in the Middle East.

“With the current turmoil in Egypt, the ongoing bloodbath in Syria, and Iran’s continued progress toward full nuclear breakout capacity, Secretary Kerry must prioritize U.S. national security interests and focus on the imminent threats facing the region,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “The peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are quite important, but they should not be our first priority at the moment while other regional crises threaten to increase the already high tensions and further destabilize a region already on edge.”

Her comments came the same day Kerry denounced a violent crackdown by the Egyptian military in which more than 200 people were killed in army raids.

“As Secretary Kerry’s team sits with the two sides as they again attempt to negotiate a settlement, next door in Egypt, the violence is reaching a boiling point as the already fragile situation is causing more deaths and instability,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

Kerry has made it clear that one of his top priorities as secretary of State is to negotiate peace in the Middle East, but Ros-Lehtinen said he's unlikely to achieve that goal because Israel has “given concession after concession” while receiving “nothing in return” from the Palestinian Authority. 

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