Kerry warns time is running out for Mideast peace process
Time is running out for efforts to revive Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Monday, urging Israel and the Palestinians to revive stalled peace talks.
“We’re running out of time. If we do not succeed now, we may not get another chance,” Kerry said in a speech to the American Jewish Committee in which he urged American Jews to support peace efforts to revive stalled peace talks. “The status quo is simply not sustainable.”
“The absence of peace is perpetual conflict. ... We will find ourselves in a negative spiral of responses and counter-responses that could literally slam the door on a two-state solution,” he said, according to AFP news agency.
His warning came amid reports that he is planning to return to the Middle East region within days for his fifth trip to Israel since he launched his bid to kickstart the negotiations in early February.
“We can’t let the disappointments of the past hold the future prisoner. We can’t let the absence of peace become a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Kerry urged in one of his most passionate speeches to date on the elusive search for peace.
Urging the Jewish forum to reflect on what will happen if his peace efforts fail, Kerry said “the absence of peace becomes perpetual conflict.”
“We will find ourselves in a negative spiral of responses and counter-responses, that can literally slam the door on a two-state solution, having already agreed, I think, that there isn’t a one-state one,” Kerry said.
“And the insidious campaign to de-legitimize Israel will only gain steam,” he said.
When Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas sought upgraded U.N. observer status at the U.N. General Assembly last year, only nine countries voted against. Kerry warned next time even fewer nations might oppose such a move.
Over the past four months, the top U.S. diplomat has been engaged in intensive shuttle diplomacy aimed at finding a way back to some form of direct talks which have been in deep-freeze since late 2010.