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U.S. hopes hit arid reality in Israeli-Palestinian talks

By Crispian Balmer and Lesley Wroughton JERUSALEM (Reuters) - From the moment Middle East peace talks resumed last July, it always looked as if U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was more eager to strike a deal than either the Israelis or Palestinians. While the two old foes have said repeatedly that they want to talk, neither side has looked remotely ready to make the sort of concessions that might eventually lead to peace.

Kerry throws down gauntlet to Israelis, Palestinians

US Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday demanded action from recalcitrant Israeli and Palestinian leaders, saying negotiations were at a "critical moment" and they had to choose whether to make peace. Negotiating teams in Jerusalem made progress in overnight talks that stretched until 4:00 am (0100 GMT), but "there is still a gap and that gap needs to close fairly soon," Kerry said in Algiers at the start of a trip to North Africa. "You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions to compromise," Kerry said.

Kerry throws down gauntlet to Israelis, Palestinians

US Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday demanded action from recalcitrant Israeli and Palestinian leaders, saying negotiations were at a "critical moment" and they had to choose whether to make peace. Negotiating teams in Jerusalem made progress in overnight talks that stretched until 4:00 am (0100 GMT), but "there is still a gap and that gap needs to close fairly soon," Kerry said in Algiers at the start of a trip to North Africa. "You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions to compromise," Kerry said.

US, Algeria vow to cooperate in fight against terrorism

The United States and Algeria pledged Thursday to work together to battle terrorism, as US Secretary of State John Kerry paid his first visit to the north African nation. "Algeria, which has paid a heavy toll to terrorism, will never bow in front of this scourge," Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said at the opening of strategic talks between the two countries. "Terrorism knows no boundaries, has no creed, no religion and targets all nations," he added.

Kerry throws down gauntlet to Israelis, Palestinians

US Secretary of State John Kerry threw down a challenge to recalcitrant Israeli and Palestinian leaders Thursday, saying now was the time when they had to choose whether to make peace. "You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions to compromise," Kerry said in Algiers at the start of a trip to North Africa. "The leaders have to lead, and they have to be able to see a moment when it's there," he added, showing signs of frustration after his months-long peace efforts appeared to be in tatters.

Kerry hails 'historic' Afghanistan elections

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he hoped weekend presidential elections in Afghanistan would mark a "historic" democratic transition in the war-torn country. With the US still trying to firm its post-2014 military presence in Afghanistan after a drawdown later this year, Kerry said Saturday's vote marked a "pivotal moment after more than a decade of sacrifice and struggle."

Kerry hails 'historic' Afghanistan elections

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he hoped weekend presidential elections in Afghanistan would mark a "historic" democratic transition in the war-torn country. With the US still trying to firm its post-2014 military presence in Afghanistan after a drawdown later this year, Kerry said Saturday's vote marked a "pivotal moment after more than a decade of sacrifice and struggle."

Kerry scrambles to save his torpedoed peace effort

US Secretary of State John Kerry was scrambling Wednesday to save his faltering Middle East peace efforts, after both Israel and Palestinians delivered him a stunning slap in the face. The top US diplomat, who has made the quest for a long-elusive peace treaty his personal holy grail, was blindsided late Tuesday as minutes before a press conference at the NATO headquarters, both sides went rogue.

Kerry scrambles to save his torpedoed peace effort

US Secretary of State John Kerry was scrambling Wednesday to save his faltering Middle East peace efforts, after both Israel and Palestinians delivered him a stunning slap in the face. The top US diplomat, who has made the quest for a long-elusive peace treaty his personal holy grail, was blindsided late Tuesday as minutes before a press conference at the NATO headquarters, both sides went rogue.

Kerry meets Netanyahu again in effort to prolong peace talks

By Lesley Wroughton JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the second time in less than 12 hours on Tuesday in an effort salvage stalled peace talks with the Palestinians. Kerry broke into his travel schedule on Monday for a flying visit to Jerusalem and headed straight back to Europe after his early morning discussions with Netanyahu.
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