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Kerry in New Year's Day trip to Israel

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Published : 2013-12-29 11:18
Updated : 2013-12-29 11:18

US Secretary of State John Kerry will make a New Year's Day trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories aiming to push forward peace talks as a nine-month deadline looms.

"On January 1, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Jerusalem to meet with Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu, and to Ramallah to meet with President (Mahmud) Abbas," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday.

"In these meetings, he will discuss the ongoing final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, among other issues," she added in a statement.

After persuading the two sides to resume talks, Kerry has been pushing the Israelis and the Palestinians to reach a peace deal ahead of a deadline set to expire in late April.

Earlier Saturday, a Palestinian official told AFP that Kerry would meet with Abbas on January 4 on what will be his 10th visit to the region since March.

Psaki did not say how long Kerry would stay in Israel, but Palestinian sources said it would be a "number of days." (AFP)

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