Obama Expresses Support for Kerry's 'Principled' Mideast Diplomacy

During interfaith breakfast in Washington, the president praised Kerry's efforts in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Only a few days after National Security Adviser Susan Rice publicly defended Secretary of State John Kerry in the face of his Israeli critics, on Thursday it was President Barack Obama who expressed his support for Kerry's Mideast diplomacy.

During an interfaith breakfast in Washington, D.C, Obama praised Kerry's efforts to make headway in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank Secretary Kerry for his extraordinary passion and principled diplomacy that he’s brought to the cause of peace in the Middle East. Thank you, John," Obama said, to much applause from those in attendance.

The American president added that the U.S. has made it clear to both sides that any long-term peace agreement "will require freedom of worship and access to holy sites for all faiths."

On Tuesday, Rice took to Twitter to lash out at Israeli leaders who have criticized Kerry for implying that Israel could face increased isolation should peace negotiations with the Palestinians fail.

"Personal attacks in Israel directed at Secretary Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable," Rice tweeted.

Among her series of tweets on the issue, Rice wrote that Kerry’s record of support for Israel’s security and prosperity is "rock solid." She also tweeted that the U.S. government has been "clear and consistent that we reject efforts to boycott or delegitimize Israel" and that Obama and Kerry "remain committed to negotiations that can secure Israeli and Palestinian futures."