Secretary of State John Kerry returns to Israel next week, seeking to ease tensions with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who has denounced the nuclear deal with Iran as a “historic mistake.”
Kerry will also travel to Ramallah for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas as he tries to keep delicate Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations on track, a US official said.
The Middle East portion of the December 3-6 trip will come after the globetrotting top US diplomat first attends a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, and then travels to Moldova as well.
“In Chisinau, Secretary Kerry will meet with senior Moldovan officials. He will discuss bilateral issues, as well as Moldova’s path toward European integration,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
But the toughest leg will be his return to Israel and the West Bank – his eighth overnight visit since becoming secretary of state in February.
Netanyahu has angrily denounced the weekend deal struck in Geneva with Iran, insisting that any deal with Tehran must have the sole purpose of dismantling the Islamic republic’s military nuclear capability.
And he is sending his security adviser, Yossi Cohen, to Washington for talks on the details of the six-month interim accord under which Iran will freeze parts of its suspect nuclear program in return for limited sanctions relief. Read more at Ynet News.