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The Journal Gazette

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on the phone, before boarding a helicopter to Amman, at Mafraq air base after visiting the Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, Thursday, July 18, 2013. Angry Syrian refugees urged Kerry on Thursday to do more to help opponents of President Bashar Assad's government, venting frustration at perceived inaction on their behalf. (AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool)

Thursday, July 18, 2013 5:28 pm

Kerry to consult Israelis, Palestinians on Friday

By MATTHEW LEEAssociated Press

A U.S. official says Secretary of State John Kerry will consult with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Friday before ending his current visit to the Middle East and returning to the United States.

The official said late Thursday that the debate over Kerry's plans to relaunch stalled peace talks is both "appropriate and encouraging" but made no mention of an announcement of new negotiations. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Kerry's plans publicly.

Kerry is currently in Jordan and could possibly stop in the Palestinian Authority or Israel on his way home, but the official gave no indication of how the secretary would consult with the two sides. He could speak to the parties by phone before returning to the U.S.