The Straits Times
Published on Feb 04, 2013

Kerry, Abbas agree to meet, promote peace


RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Newly sworn-in US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Sunday and said they should meet on peace efforts, a presidential spokesman said.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that the two discussed "the necessity to hold meetings in the near future to talk about a number of issues which help maintain the peace process."

According to Wafa, Mr Kerry assured Mr Abbas that "US President Barack Obama cares about the peace process and supports efforts related to it," and that the US administration was aware of the Palestinians' current financial crisis.

It was the first high-level contact between Mr Obama's new administration and the Palestinian government.