Washington (CNN) - Whenever a conflict pops up around the world, he has become the go-to guy, either rolling up his sleeves in the Senate or flying from hot spot to hot spot.
John Kerry is, after all, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, holder of one of the most influential positions in Congress and one of the United States' ambassadors to the world.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that it is critical for Israelis and Palestinians to restart negotiations on a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Obama made his remarks during a meeting at the White House with Jordan's King Abdullah II.
(CNN) – In a wide-ranging address to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, President Barack Obama dwelled on the intractable Middle East conflict and urged Israelis and Palestinians to seize the day in talks his administration initiated.
"Now is the time for the parties to help each other overcome this obstacle. Now is the time to build the trust - and provide the time - for substantial progress to be made. Now is the time for this opportunity to be seized, so that it doesn't slip away," Obama said.
(CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to the Middle East on September 14 to participate in a second round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, according to a senior State Department official.
George Mitchell, the Obama administration's Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, will join Clinton on the trip.
Clinton will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt before traveling to Jerusalem to continue the peace talks.
Washington (CNN) - After two days of meetings and talks led by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli and Palestinian leaders leave Washington deadlocked over the contentious issue of Israeli settlements.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met alone behind closed doors Thursday, in a State Department room just outside Clinton's office. The one-on-one meeting followed their on-camera pledges to move the peace process forward and their hardy handshake with Clinton in the middle.
But several diplomatic sources involved in the summit said the two leaders emerged from their meeting in a stalemate over whether Israeli settlements should continue.
The two leaders met with Clinton to give a readout of their meeting.
According to Palestinian delegation member Fadi Elsalameen, the two leaders were very blunt about their opposing views.
President Obama and leaders from Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority spoke Wednesday at the White House. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
(CNN) - The latest round of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians is starting off much like similar endeavors in the past, but the Obama administration hopes that this time, the outcome will be different.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hosting direct talks Thursday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
On the eve of the talks, President Obama held a working dinner with Abbas, Netanyahu, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
"I am hopeful - cautiously hopeful, but hopeful - that we can achieve the goal that all four of these leaders articulated," Obama said before the dinner.
Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to announce Friday that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to return to direct talks to address core issues, diplomatic sources and a senior U.S. official said.
The sources said President Barack Obama is expected to invite the parties to talks in Washington in early September. But they cautioned the final details were still being worked out.
If the talks resume, it would be the first time since peace talks broke down in December 2008 over Israel's three-week military offensive against Hamas in Gaza.
Washington (CNN) - The United States is urging diplomacy by the Mideast Quartet to help push a speedy resumption of direct peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.
"We are consulting with the Quartet and looking to see how we can encourage the parties to begin direct negotiations," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.
His comments come as Special U.S. Envoy George Mitchell held what Crowley called a "serious and positive" meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank on Tuesday in an effort to persuade Abbas to launch direct talks. Mitchell is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
The parties are taking part in "proximity talks," in which Mitchell has been shuttling between the sides with little substantial progress.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama told an Israeli television network that he thinks there can be a Middle East peace agreement by the end of his current term, but "it's going to be wrenching."
In an interview conducted Wednesday with Channel 2 Israel that was made public Thursday, Obama said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might be "well positioned" to bring about a deal with the Palestinians because of his reputation as a conservative "hawk."
"The Israeli people are going to have to overcome legitimate skepticism and more than legitimate fears in order to get a change that I think will secure Israel for another 60 years," Obama said of a peace agreement. He also said of a deal: "It will be wrenching."
Washington (CNN) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly emphasized the strength and durability of ties between their two countries Tuesday - part of an effort to dispel the notion that relations between the United States and Israel have frayed in recent months.
They said they had discussed new steps that can be taken to revitalize a Middle East peace process that many observers believe has recently stalled.
The two leaders also took aim at Iran, highlighting common efforts to prevent that country from acquiring a nuclear arsenal.
The meeting - their fifth since Netanyahu took office last spring - took place at the White House against a backdrop of speculation that the two leaders are increasingly at odds on a range of key issues.