Kerry to deliver major speech on Mideast peace process
Secretary of State John Kerry plans to lay out a sweeping vision for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the coming days, Obama administration officials said Friday.
The announcement comes just hours after the administration angered the Israeli government by allowing the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.
Kerry’s speech will lay out a “comprehensive” plan for a two-state solution that goes beyond the settlement issue, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters.
“He’s got some ideas about where we go from here and he looks forward to sharing them in the days ahead,” said Frank Lowenstein, the State Department’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
The officials did not say exactly when Kerry will deliver the speech.
The speech will come at one of the lowest points in U.S.-Israel relations in recent memory.
The Obama administration’s decision to abstain on the settlement resolution was a rare step for the U.S., which typically shields Israel from U.N. actions it deems hostile.
It reflects years of frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for backing settlement activity in the West Bank, which the U.S. and other nations believe is an obstacle to peace.
Kerry launched a last-ditch bid to broker a peace deal between the two sides soon after he became the top U.S. diplomat, but the effort flamed out in 2014.
Lowenstein said the secretary of State would not make the framework developed in those talks public.
Instead, he said Kerry “will draw on his experience directly with the parties and with others over the past four years.”
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