MADRID (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday it was vital that Israeli and Palestinian leaders clarify the status around the al-Aqsa compound and agree on steps that can be taken to calm unrest during talks this week.
Kerry said Israel had a right to protect itself against random acts of violence, and in his conversations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli leader said he was committed to maintaining the status quo at the holy site.
"I don't have specific expectations except to try to move things forward, and that will depend on the conversations themselves," Kerry told reporters.
Kerry also said he would meet with leaders from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Russia in Europe later this week to discuss the Syrian conflict.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Hugh Lawson)