Time nearly run out for peace in Middle East: John Kerry

By Ben Hartman, June 6, 2013

United States Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday repeated his call for Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table, warning that time is running out for the two-state solution.

"If we do not succeed now, we may not get another chance. So we can't let the disappointments of the past hold the future prisoner," Mr Kerry said at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington, DC.

Mr Kerry's statement came the same day that Justice Minister and special envoy to the peace process Tzipi Livni arrived in Washington to address the conference and meet Mr Kerry to discuss the potential peace talks.

During his visit to the region in late May, Mr Kerry announced a $4bn investment plan for private Arab businesses, saying that it could help the Palestinian economy become less reliant on donor aid.

Mr Kerry's enthusiasm for the peace process contrasts with the sentiments of the Israelis and Palestinians, both of whom are highly cynical about its chances of success.

Last week, Palestinian negotiator Nabil Sha'ath of the Fatah Central Committee said Mr Kerry will only succeed if he manages to pressure Israel to stop settlement activity - a precondition that Israel is unlikely agree to.

Last updated: 5:45pm, June 6 2013