John Kerry, the Secretary of State in the U.S. is making his fourth trip to the Middle East as he attempts to revive peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Kerry started separate talks with both and acknowledged that considerable skepticism remained that the two sides would restart negotiations for peace.
This is Kerry’s fourth visit in just his four months as Secretary of State.
Near the end of 2010, the peace talks broke down in a disagreement over the building by Israel of Jewish settlements along the occupied West Bank that Palestinians wanted as part of their state.
Kerry was written about harshly in Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper last week. The paper called him a ham-handed and naive diplomat who has acted as if he was a bull visiting a china shop.
Kerry said he is well aware of what goes on in the region and knows great doubt exists as well as cynicism. However, he said that by being careful, patient, methodical, but tenacious and detailed that the path ahead can be set and surprise people through exhausting all possibilities of peace.
Kerry, after his meeting on Thursday morning with Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minister of Israel, is expected to meet with Mahmoud Abbas the President of the Palestinians late Thursday.
Netanyahu told reporters he wanted the peace talks restarted with the Palestinians.
The efforts for peace have been complicated by the new government in Israel that has moved towards the right. The new coalition includes members who are openly opposed to any solution involving two-states.