Kerry to talk peace, Syria with Netanyahu


WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss peace talks with the Palestinians and the Syria crisis.

“The purpose of the visit it to have an in-depth discussion with the prime minister on the final-status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, following on the secretary’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in London last Monday,” the State Department said Friday. “They will also focus on developments in Syria.”

Kerry has managed to keep proceedings on the Israeli-Palestinian talks under wraps since their launch in June, although there have been reports that the sides are still stuck on the parameters of the talks.

The United States has consulted closely with Israel during the Syria crisis, precipitated Aug. 21 when the Assad regime allegedly launched a gas attack on a rebel stronghold that is believed to have killed more than 1,400 civilians, including hundreds of children.

President Obama is seeking congressional authorization to strike Syria and has instructed Kerry to investigate a Russian proposal to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons.

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