Kerry ends trip to Mideast without framework accord

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US Secretary of State John Kerry has wrapped up his Middle East tour following four days of intense diplomacy, which failed to make any breakthrough in the so-called peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority (PA). During his 10th visit to the region as secretary of state, Kerry held separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian authorities and also made a one-day trip to Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The top American diplomat headed home on Monday. However, his diplomatic push failed to close a framework to guide the Israeli-Palestinian talks. He concluded his trip with bitter accusations from Netanyahu as he repeated allegations that Palestinians continue "their campaign of inciting hatred." Meanwhile, the Palestinians said that they would not recognize Israel and remain resolute in their opposition to stationing any Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley. Kerry is set to meet this week with senior members of the Arab League to brief them on his discussions with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. On Sunday, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said the Tel Aviv regime would not accept any proposals by the US regarding security concessions for the Jordan Valley. Washington has proposed a mixed Israeli-Palestinian military presence in the region to ensure security there. However, the Israeli regime says it wants a solo long-term military presence in the strategic valley. Israel occupied the Jordan Valley in 1967 and has been building settlements there since. The Jordanian government has said it is concerned Tel Aviv will annex the valley.

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