John Kerry to meet Mahmoud Abbas as part of global tour

US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures upon his arrival for a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 23, 2014. (AFP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Paris this week for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on peace prospects with Israel, the State Department said Tuesday.

The meeting with Abbas will be the top US diplomat's second stop on a global tour that will kick off late Thursday.

Kerry will discuss with the Palestinian leader "ongoing efforts to advance a two-state solution," the State Department said in a statement.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process collapsed two years ago, and progress currently appears unlikely before President Barack Obama's final term ends in January.

In June France convened a Paris meeting of world powers -- without Israel or the Palestinians -- to work toward organizing an international conference to reboot talks by the end of the year.

After June's meeting Kerry was lukewarm concerning the prospects of a conference. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed entirely the French initiative, which the Palestinians welcomed.

The Middle East diplomatic quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- urged Israel to stop building settlements and Palestinians to cease incitement to violence in a July report that drew a frosty response from both sides.

Before talks with Abbas, who Kerry met with in Amman in February, the US diplomat will stop Friday in Vienna to help kick off high-level talks on combating climate change.

He will travel next week to Vientiane, Laos, for the annual conference of the Association of Southeast Nations.

The US envoy will meet at the ASEAN event with leaders from Southeast Asia and China concerning disputes related to territory and maritime security in the South China Sea.

Kerry will end his trip in Manila, where he will meet with newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss the "full range of our cooperation with the new administration," the statement said.

His trip comes after The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration's July 12 ruling in favor of the Philippines's claim that China does not have historic rights over the strategically vital and resource-rich waters. China has rejected that ruling.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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