Netanyahu, Kerry expected to meet next week in Europe

TEL AVIV, Israel, June 19 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week in Europe.

Netanyahu spoke with Kerry on the phone Friday and they agreed to meet, though no date or place was decided, a senior Israeli official told Haaretz.

A senior official at the U.S. State Department said it’s unclear whether their schedules would allow them to meet next week.

They last met in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Kerry’s last visit to Israel was in November after a wave of Palestinian terrorism.

Topics for a new meeting include creating the French peace initiative aimed at increasing efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and a Quartet report to be released Thursday criticizing Israeli policies in the West Bank.

Kerry was at the June 3 foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris where the French plan was discussed. The 28 European foreign ministers will meet again Monday in Luxembourg to adopt the French plan and call for an international conference despite Israel’s objections. Netanyahu has said the plan is not an incentive to the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel because by holding out, other countries will impose a solution on Israel.

“Israel continues with its intensive diplomatic efforts, and we hope that our point of view will prevail,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

The Quarter report, by United States, Russia, European Union and the United Nations, reviews the diplomatic logjam between Israel and the Palestinians, and solutions. The report also is expected to severely criticize Israel for settlement construction and its control in Area C of the West Bank.

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