Davos, Agencies - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that he intends to present the framework agreement setting out the principles for resolution of the core issues between Israel and the Palestinians within a few weeks, an Israeli businessman present at the meeting in Davos told Haaretz.
He explained that the agreement will include the principles of resolving the core issues of the overall relationship between the parties and it will form the basis for the next stages of the negotiations.
According to the Israeli newspaper Kerry was speaking to businessmen during a meeting on the margins of the Davos economic conference of Israeli and Palestinian businesspeople as part of the Breaking the Impasse initiative, whose goal is to push the leadership in Jerusalem and Ramallah to move ahead toward a peace agreement.
Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for almost two hours on Friday morning and discussed the framework agreement with him. However, statements released by both parties after the meeting presented conflicting versions about the nature of the document.
However, Deputy State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf presented the opposite view in the daily press briefing in Washington. “This is not an American plan. The framework that we are in discussions with is based on our discussions with both sides and the parties leading up to this point … The framework ... will guide the discussion on all of the issues going forward,” Harf said.
In Kerry’s address to the conference, he outlined several U.S. principles for solving the core issues: an independent state for the Palestinians wherever they may be; security arrangements for Israel that leave it more secure; a full, phased and final withdrawal of the Israeli army, a just and agreed solution to the Palestinian refugee problem; an end to the conflict and all claims; and mutual recognition of the nation-state of the Palestinian people and the nation-state of the Jewish people.
The newspaper also reported that the Israeli prime minister , Netanyahu expressed political positions hardened in the conference and said he will not evacuate settlements from the West Bank.
Kerry warned in his speech that if talks fail, “for Israel, the demographic dynamic will make it impossible to preserve its future as a democratic Jewish state,” adding, “Today’s status quo cannot last forever.”