U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was recently sworn in, telephoned Mahmoud Abbas the Palestinian president on Sunday. Kerry suggested the two should have a meeting to discuss the peace efforts, said a spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority.
Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesperson for Abbas told Wafa the official Palestinian news agency that Abbas had discussed with Kerry the need to hold peace meetings in the very near future in order to discuss a number of different topics including those that would help keep the peace process moving forward.
According to the news agency, Abbas was assured by Kerry that President Barack Obama considers the peace process to be very important and supports all the efforts that are related to that process. Kerry also said that the White House administration was also aware of the financial crisis that is currently affecting the Palestinians.
Sunday’s conversation was the first contact at a high-level between the Palestinian Authority and the new administration of President Obama. While Kerry served as the Foreign Relations Committee Chair in the Senate, he met on numerous occasions with Abbas.
During his confirmation hearings last week, Kerry hinted he would make a new proposal to help restart the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, which have been on hold for over two years.
Kerry said that there had to be a way to move forward and he believed there is and was going to propose that. Both the Palestinian Authority and Israel have committed themselves theoretically to a two-state solution, which means living next to one another within borders that have been agreed upon. However, the Palestinians have said that while Israeli settlements continue to be built in the West Bank, they would not return to the negotiating table.