Kerry presses on with shuttle diplomacy in Mideast peace bid

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Shuttling between Israeli leaders in Jerusalem and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for a third straight day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will continue on Saturday efforts to revive the Middle East peace process.

Kerry cancelled a visit to the United Arab Emirates planned for Saturday in order to redouble his efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, in comments reported by AFP news agency.

“The secretary appreciates our partnership with the UAE, has phoned his counterpart Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed (al-Nahayan) with his regrets, and looks forward to visiting again in the future,” she said.

Kerry, on his fifth trip to the Middle East in as many months, is trying to restart direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that broke down nearly three years ago.

Kerry, on a marathon tour that has also taken him to India, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, will still proceed to Brunei for a meeting of Asian nations starting on Monday, State Department spokeswoman Harf said.

In the UAE, Kerry was expected to focus heavily on coordinating assistance to rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

(With AFP)

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