Kerry Plays Down Spat With Israeli Defense Chief

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Kerry Plays Down Spat With Israeli Defense Chief

by Wochit 1:41 mins

Kerry Plays Down Spat With Israeli Defense Chief

by Wochit 1:41 mins

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday played down criticism by Israel's defense minister of American efforts to broker peace in the Middle East, saying he wouldn't let "one set of comments" undermine his work. With his subdued reaction, Kerry appeared to be attempting to quickly move beyond the uproar that exploded Tuesday over the comments reportedly made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. After harsh criticism from Washington, Yaalon issued a late-night apology. Speaking to reporters in Kuwait, Kerry said that he speaks regularly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said they were both "very committed" to moving forward on peace efforts. "We just can't let one set of comments undermine that effort, and I don't intend to," Kerry said. Kerry has been shuttling between Israel and the Palestinians for months, and is expected back in the region in the coming weeks to deliver his ideas on a framework for peace. The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, territories captured by Israel in 1967, for an independent state. Netanyahu wants to keep parts of the West Bank and says he will not share control of east Jerusalem, home to sensitive Muslim, Jewish and Christian religious sites.

Wochit

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