Kerry's focus on peace talks, not settlements

AP News
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Posted: May 24, 2013 7:13 AM
Kerry's focus on peace talks, not settlements

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Israel's government should prevent further settlement construction, where possible, to help revitalize Middle East peace hopes.

However, he isn't calling for a complete settlement freeze in lands contested by the Israelis and Palestinians.

He says the focus should be on restarting direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that could finally set borders as part of a two-state agreement.

Then, Kerry says, the issue of settlements would be resolved.

Two months into his mediation effort, Kerry says he believe Mideast peace is possible.

But he doesn't want the issue of settlements to prevent peace talks from happening, which has been the case for most of the past 4½ years.