Kerry: Netanyahu, Abbas can voice objections to framework deal
In interview with Washington Post, U.S. secretary of state says expressing reservations to framework deal is only way for both leaders to 'embrace an endgame.'
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be able to "express reservations" on the framework agreement the American government is due to present as a basis for continued negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
In an interview with the Washington Post's David Ignatius on Saturday morning, Kerry noted that some members of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams have claimed it is a mistake to allow any room for objections, but Kerry insists that such caveats are “the only way for them to politically be able to keep the negotiations moving" adding, "for them as leaders to be able to embrace an endgame, they need to have the right to be able to have some objection.”
Kerry also said that while Netanyahu had made it clear he rejects the presence of NATO forces in the Jordan Valley, a possible third-party force “is something for the parties to work out."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Friday that Kerry is a "true friend of Israel" and slammed Economy Minister and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett for his recent criticism of the top American diplomat.
Speaking at a conference in the Tel Aviv Hilton Hotel, Lieberman said that Kerry is leading the peace process "in the right way," adding that he "is not a member of the settler council and he has a right to think differently than the screaming Naftali Bennett," Lieberman said, and cautioned that it is "unwise to turn a friend into a foe."
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