US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he hoped newly announced elections in Israel would lead to a government which would advance peace talks with the Palestinians.
Asked about the recent political developments in Jerusalem while visiting NATO headquarters in Brussels, Kerry said “Obviously, we hope that whatever government is formed is a government…that can negotiate and move towards resolving the differences between Israelis and Palestinians, and obviously, the differences in the region.”
The secretary refrained from making any further remarks, however, saying it was an “internal” Israeli issue and the US would not comment on the politics of the matter.
Whatever the outcome of the elections come 2015, Kerry did state that “We will continue to be supportive of our friend and our ally, the state of Israel.”
During his meeting with European ministers at NATO headquarters, the secretary was expected to discuss with them a French-led European initiative for a UN resolution demanding a final peace deal within two years.
The position of the United States, which has repeatedly vetoed UN resolutions seen as pressuring Israel, will be crucial in deciding if the latest push at the United Nations stands a chance.
The Palestinians, backed by the Arab League, circulated a draft resolution at the end of September that called for an Israeli pullout November 2016.
The new resolution would pave the way for an international conference to launch what is widely seen as a final bid for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, with the involvement of all key international players.
There has been growing international alarm over the spate terror attacks in Jerusalem and other areas and the stalled peace talks on settling Israel’s borders and the fate of Palestinian statehood.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned of a possible new flareup in violence after the devastating 50-day war in Gaza over the summer.
UN diplomats argue that the world can ill afford more violence in the Middle East at a time when Islamic extremists are waging war in Iraq and Syria.