Kerry lands in Israel for talks with Netanyahu

AFP , Sunday 15 Sep 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Israel comes one day following the conclusion of deal with Russia about the Syrian chemical stockpiles

US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Israel on Sunday for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused on Syria and peace talks with the Palestinians.

Kerry's plane touched down at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv at about 0825 GMT and he headed straight for Jerusalem where he was to hold around four hours of talks with Israeli leader before leaving for Paris, media reports said.

His arrival in Israel comes a day after Washington and Moscow reached a deal over eliminating Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons following three days of talks in Geneva between Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Media reports said Sunday's talks would touch on the consequences for Israel of the Geneva agreement which gives Syria's President Bashar al-Assad a week to hand over details of his regime's stockpile of chemical weapons in order to avoid sanctions and possible US-led military action.

Announcing the Jerusalem visit late last week, the State Department confirmed Syria would be on the agenda at the Jerusalem talks as well as the ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians.

The two men would discuss "the final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians" after Kerry's meeting with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in London on September 9, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Friday.

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