Kerry postpones Israel visit but ties still strong, says US

By Rosa Doherty, November 20, 2013

American Secretary of State John Kerry has postponed a trip to Israel ahead of the talks with Iran that are due to be held in Geneva this week.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced that Mr Kerry would arrive in Israel on November 22 to discuss the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran as well as the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

However during a news conference this week in Washington with Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Mr Kerry said he would not make it to Israel as planned.

Iran’s nuclear programme has been a source of contention between Mr Netanyahu and the Obama administration.

American state department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Mr Kerry still plans to visit Israel “in the coming weeks” and insisted Israel and the United States still had “a strong partnership.”

She said: “One of the reasons we’re so committed to pursuing the diplomatic path with Iran is because we are committed to Israel’s security, and that’s the message that we’re conveying.”

Last updated: 11:01am, November 20 2013