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Kerry offers Israel ideas on security under Palestine accord

Source: Reuters - Thu, 5 Dec 2013 01:02 PM
Author: Reuters
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JERUSALEM, Dec 5 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that some progress had been made in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and that he had presented Israel with ideas for improving its security under any future accord.

"We have always known that this is a difficult, complicated road and we understand that. I believe we are making some progress," Kerry told reporters in Jerusalem after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Acknowledging Israel's concerns that handing over occupied territory to form part of a Palestinian state could make it vulnerable to attack, Kerry said he had offered Netanyahu "some thoughts about that particular security challenge". He did not elaborate.

Netanyahu said Israel's ability to defend itself must be safeguarded in any peace deal, and called on the Palestinian to hold uninterrupted and discrete negotiations.

"What we need is not grandstanding, but understanding and agreements and that requires hard and serious work," he said.

Kerry then travelled to the West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Mark Trevelyan/Jeremy Gaunt)

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