Kerry: Obama won’t push a peace plan on Israel visit

(JTA) — President Obama wants to "listen" on his visit to Israel, not push a particular peace plan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"We’re not going to go and sort of plunk a plan down and tell everybody what they have to do," Kerry said Tuesday in Germany, Reuters reported. "I want to consult and the president wants to listen."

Kerry is on his first foreign trip as secretary of state. He is scheduled to arrive in Israel with Obama on March 20.

In an apparent reference to recent violence in the West Bank following the death of a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail, Biden called on Israelis and Palestinians to keep open-minded about a peace agreement.

"We really hope everybody will step back a little and try to find a way to proceed very calmly and very thoughtfully in these next days, leave the opportunities for peaceful resolution open," Kerry said.

Kerry said that Obama would decide how to proceed with peace efforts after his return from the region, which includes a stop in Jordan. The new secretary of state met last week with Palestinian officials to discuss Obama’s visit, as well as a possible continuation of the peace process. 
 

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