John Kerry moves up Middle East on Foggy Bottom to-do list

John Kerry testifies during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing to be secretary of state 24 January 2013 Senator John Kerry said "the window or door on a two-state solution" was still open

Related Stories

John Kerry is warning that the possibility of the Palestinians getting their own state could soon be lost for ever - and that would be a disaster.

The man who is almost certainly going to be the next US secretary of state has given a broad hint that getting another round of Middle East peace talks going will be one of his top priorities.

He told senators at his confirmation hearing that "we need to find a way forward, and I happen to believe there is a way forward, but the window or door on a two-state solution could shut - and that would be disastrous for all concerned".

He said he had thought a lot about the challenge but he did not want to prejudice any new effort by being too explicit about what he would do.

Election outcome

The White House will be watching to see which parties end up in the new Israeli government after this week's elections.

Many in Washington believe there is no prospect of a two-state solution while Benjamin Netanyahu is Prime Minister, whoever his partners are.

Although the result weakened the Israeli prime minister, he may bring right-wing parties into his coalition, and that would seem to make the possibility of new talks even more remote.

But some say that will not dissuade the Obama administration from pushing forward. The thought is that if the United States puts a plan on the table, both Israelis and Palestinians would have to take it seriously.

They claim there have been meetings in the White House involving top officials about how to push the process forward, and if Mr Obama doesn't make a move soon the possibility of a two-state solution could be lost for ever.

He has nothing to lose by at least giving it a go.

If this is true it would explain why British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who is in Washington next week, has said it should be the US's highest priority - he already knows it will be.

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

Trident question comes to the surface

In 2016, the new government will have to decide whether to continue to invest in the Trident programme - and this could be a key issue in a hung Parliament, says the BBC's Mark Mardell.

Read full article

More on This Story

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 315.

    All for All (309),

    “… Make everyone 'a party', virtual but actually 'represented'? … If such were possible, peace might also be brought to America, even to Europe”

    Given the essential ingredients of such negotiations, I doubt that is practical.

  • Comment number 314.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 313.

    paulmerhaba : caption competition


    Officials at the Department for State watch with bated breath as their new boss delivers his first strike ... at the staff ten-pin bowling social event.

  • rate this

    Comment number 312.

    MagicKirin (307),

    “… the best solution is for everyone to mind their own business and let Israel defend itrself as it sees fit …”

    As the military attributes of Israel’s defense are often executed using American designed and manufactured weapons, I find it reasonable that the U.S. take an active role in whatever negotiations occur between Israel & the Palestinians.

  • rate this

    Comment number 311.

    Guys What i dont understand is -

    Does BiBi have a heart - or Brain for that matter -
    If BiBi is going to Lecture us about Holocaust for Every Question -
    then What are they doing to the Palestinians / Gazans ..

    As for Britain - Why did it Sign Balfour Agreement - What right does Britain have Over Palestine to hand it over to ISRAEL to make it Sovereign ..

    I Dont Comprehend - Am I an Idiot !!


Comments 5 of 315


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Need for speed

    Audi unveils its fastest production car ever - ahead of its Geneva debut


  • A robot holding a table legClick Watch

    The robots who build flat-pack furniture - teaching machines to work collaboratively

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.