John Kerry plans to restart peace process as secretary of state

US Senator John Kerry plans to restart the peace process in the Middle East if he becomes secretary of state, the American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Army Radio on Friday.

This announcement confirms what Mr Kerry said in his US Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, where he said he hoped the Israeli elections would allow for a renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Speaking about the Israeli elections, he said: “I pray that maybe this will be a moment that will allow us to renew the effort to bring the parties to the negotiating table and go down a different path than the one they were on in the last few years. I would like to try and do that.”

He said that the US must engage in the peace process and that “real progress” was needed.

Massachusetts Senator Mr Kerry is very likely to be confirmed as secretary of state on Tuesday. Reports suggest he will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories as early as next month.

Last updated: 4:09pm, January 25 2013