World

Netanyahu to tell Kerry that Israel will rebuff UN moves toward Palestinian state

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ahead of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, says Israel will rebuff any moves at the United Nations to set a timeframe for a withdrawal from territory Palestinians seek for a state.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday in Rome and then Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and a delegation of Arab foreign ministers in London on Tuesday. (Alastair Grant/Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Rome this weekend for some high-level meetings over the next couple of days, and first on his agenda is talks today with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on the escalating tensions in Ukraine.

On Monday, Kerry will turn his attention to the stalled Middle East peace talks when he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The U.S. State Department has said the two men will discuss various proposals for a Palestinian state that are circulating at the United Nations.

Kerry will then meet Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and a delegation of Arab foreign ministers in London on Tuesday, who will urge for the United States not to use its UN
Security Council veto to block the proposals, Palestinian officials said.
 
On Sunday, Netanyahu said he would tell Kerry that Israel will rebuff any moves at the United Nations to set a timeframe for a withdrawal from territory Palestinians seek for a state.

"John Kerry's meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu comes at a time of heightened tensions in the region," said CBC's Derek Stoffel, reporting frrom Jerusalem.

Last month, two Palestinians armed with meat cleavers and a gun killed five Israelis inside a synagogue in Jerusalem. And last week, a Palestinian cabinet minister was killed after a confrontation between protesters and Israeli forces in the West Bank.

U.S.-brokered peace negotiations with Israel, led by Kerry, collapsed in April. Since then, Palestinians have made unilateral efforts at the UN to form their own state in the
occupied West Bank and in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

With files from Reuters

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