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Kerry cites progress in Mideast peace talks, heads to Jordan, Saudi Arabia

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Highlights
  • Kerry meets Israeli and Palestinian leaders multiple times during his visit
  • He applauds both sides for their hard work, saying he has a timeline in mind but won't share it
  • This is his ninth trip to the region since taking over as secretary of state nearly a year ago

 

By Faith Karimi and Yousuf Basil

America's top diplomat said Sunday he's making progress in Middle East peace talks as he headed to Jordan and Saudi Arabia to discuss his efforts with their leaders.

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke after multiple meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He declined to provide details and his efforts, but commended both sides for their hard work, saying he has a timeline in mind but won't share it.

Both sides still "have some very serious homework -- all of us -- to do," he said.

"The next week" is key as to what happens next, he said.

He'll meet with Jordan's King Abdullah II first Sunday before jetting to Saudi Arabia, where he'll meet King Abdullah a few hours later.

Kerry has floated a proposal based on five months of intensive consultations with Israelis and Palestinians since the resumption of the peace process last summer.

As a result of those talks, he intends to test some of his ideas with the two sides' leaders.

This is Kerry's ninth trip to the region since taking over as secretary of state nearly a year ago.

He arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday and immediately headed for Jerusalem, where he met for three hours with Netanyahu on Friday.

Kerry then spent two days meeting with Palestinian leaders, including two meetings with Abbas.

 

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