Obama asks Israel to stick with Kerry efforts

AP News
Posted: Jul 18, 2013 6:36 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has encouraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stick with efforts to restart peace talks with Palestinians and is asking Netanyahu to continue working with Secretary of State John Kerry on that effort.

The White House says Obama and Netanyahu spoke by phone Thursday. In addition to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they also discussed the crisis in Egypt, Syria's civil war and Iran's nuclear program.

Kerry is in Jordan and will consult with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Friday, either by phone or in person, before ending his Mideast trip. Kerry has claimed progress in his month-long push to relaunch stalled peace talks. But the State Department says there are currently no plans for an announcement on resuming negotiations.