Kerry cites some progress in Mideast diplomacy

By DEB RIECHMANN | The Associated Press | Published: January 4, 2014

RAMALLAH, West Bank — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is citing some progress as a result of his Mideast shuttle diplomacy.

He says "we are not there yet, but we are making progress" toward a framework for a peace deal.

Kerry was in the West Bank on Saturday for a second day of talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Kerry tells reporters that "we are working with great intensity and serious purpose with a commitment to resolve this conflict."

Next up is a meeting later Saturday in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kerry is trying to nudge the leaders closer to a peace pact that would establish a Palestinian state and set a framework to guide talks for a final settlement in the decades-long dispute.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.
Brendan Smialowski, Pool/AP


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