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article imageKerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal closer than ever

By Mike White     Dec 6, 2013 in World
Jerusalem - United States Secretary of State John Kerry said an Israel-Palestinian peace deal has never been closer than it is right now. He pledged, however, no deal will be reached unless it enhances the security of Israel.
The Jerusalem Post reported Kerry praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for courage in seeking peace.
Kerry made his remarks before leaving Israel after a visit to the region.
"For now, let me just now reiterate how grateful I am for the courage that both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas both continue to display against naysayers, against opponents, as they pursue a full exploration of the possibilities of peace," Kerry commented, as reported in the Jerusalem Post
"I believe we are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace and the prosperity and the security that all of the people of this region deserve and yearn for."
Kerry had three meetings over a 36 hour period with Netanyahu before he made the comments.
He said he was concerned about the security of Israel and the creation of a "viable, independent Palestinian state."
Yahoo News reported Kerry also urged those in the Mideast to display the "spirit" of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, who had once been imprisoned for three decades for opposing minority rule by whites in the country. He was later elected president of the country and died Thursday at 95.
"The example of Nelson Mandela is an example we all need to take to heart as we face the challenges of trying to reach a two-state solution," Kerry commented.
He said those seeking peace could learn from Mandela, who said something only seems impossible "until it's done."
The Toledo Blade, however, in a story by the Associated Press said Mideast participants in the latest round of peace efforts reported no progress.
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