Netanyahu and Kerry discuss peace talks in Rome

US Secretary of State John Kerry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

US Secretary of State John Kerry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will attend a seven-hour meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome today.

The two will focus on the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Iran’s nuclear programme, and the threats in Egypt and Syria.

It is expected that Mr Kerry will push the prime minister for decisive answers on Israeli-Palestinian relations. He will ask Mr Netanyahu how far the talks have gone, and what he is willing to offer.

Since the peace talks began on July 29, little headway has reportedly been made.

Now it is thought the Secretary of State will try to ease Mr Netanyahu’s skepticism, and hold him to account for the lack of progress.

But Mr Netanyahu’s priorities remain fixed on Iran, and convincing the US that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani remains committed to building a nuclear bomb.

He will seek reassurance that the US has not warmed to Mr Rouhani following the president’s recent display of good will at the UN. He will also stress to Mr Kerry the importance of maintaining tough economic sanctions against Iran.

Last updated: 10:16am, October 23 2013