US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met Monday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and agreed to work together to boost dwindling prospects for a peace agreement.
After the meeting, the US State Department said the two men discussed “constructive ideas” to advance a two-state solution with Israel.
Spokesman John Kirby said Kerry stressed the US commitment to Middle East peace along with concerns about Palestinian violence and Israeli settlements.
He said Kerry and Abbas would “work with key partners to advance the prospects for peace while opposing all efforts that would undermine that goal.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to make his way to New York Tuesday afternoon for a trip that will include his annual address the United Nations General Assembly and what will presumably be his last meeting with US President Barack Obama.
During his five-day stay in the city, Netanyahu will also meet with outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders and visit an exhibit of drawings by an Israeli soldier whose body is currently held by Hamas, along with the remains of another soldier.
Netanyahu’s delegation reportedly includes Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren, who was the former Israeli ambassador to the US, and Netanyahu’s media adviser Ran Baratz.
Abbas, who arrived in New York on Sunday, was joined by PA Foreign Minister Raid al-Maliki and Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Saeb Erekat.