Kerry not worried about blame if peace talks fail

Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday held out hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal but said he is not worried about being blamed if the talks collapse.

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“I think it's important to do this, and you want to dump it on me? I may fail. I don’t care,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had earlier interrupted Kerry to say the talks had failed. “It is stopped. It is stopped. Recognize reality,” McCain said.

“It’s interesting that you declare it dead, but the Israelis and Palestinians don’t declare it dead,” Kerry shot back.

Kerry acknowledged there were setbacks, noting that Israel had not released prisoners on schedule. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to sign on to international treaties was “not helpful,” he added.