Kerry Tells Abbas: 'Door Remains Open' to Peace Talks With Israel

In first meeting since collapse of U.S.-brokered negotiations, Kerry said it's up to both sides to show commitment to process.

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Haaretz
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Kerry, left, saying goodbye to Abbas after their second meeting in Amman, Jordan, on June 29, 2013.
Kerry, left, saying goodbye to Abbas after their second meeting in Amman, Jordan, on June 29, 2013.Credit: AP
Reuters
Haaretz

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was due to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in London on Wednesday, their first meeting since peace talks with Israel collapsed last month. The talks were described as informal.

Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah officials concluded a three-hour meeting in Gaza on Wednesday saying that they were confident they would meet the five-week deadline to establish a unity government.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, head of the Hamas negotiating team, said the talks would be finalized next week and a unity government would be announced shortly afterwards, Albawaba News reported.All candidates proposed for the Palestinian unity government will be politically "impartial," Fatah official Fayez Abu Atiyeh told Ma'an. The formation of a proposed unity cabinet is nearly complete, according to Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri.

Earlier, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that he believed the unity government would achieve its goals and "our mission is to make it succeed and to mobilize our people behind its national goals."

"We will clean the road to reconciliation from all obstacles and landmines, and I hereby call on our brothers in the West Bank to take the same path and to maintain freedoms," he said, during an address to Gazan members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Fatah and Hamas announced their reconciliation on April 23, potentially ending seven years of political division between the largest two Palestinian factions. The reconciliation included an agreement to establish a national unity government within five weeks.

The current reconciliation is not the first. In 2012, the parties signed two agreements - one in Cairo and a subsequent one in Doha - which have not been implemented as yet.

Head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh and senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed sign a reconciliation agreement in Gaza City April 23, 2014.Credit: Reuters

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