U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has canceled a planned trip to the Middle East today, following a move by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to join 15 international agencies in an attempt to gain the benefits of statehood outside the negotiating process.
Abbas’ actions were a surprise to American and Israeli officials, and threaten to derail the on-again-off-again peace process brokered by Kerry.
The move appears to have been a reaction to Israel’s failure to release a batch of long-serving Palestinian prisoners by March 29. As part of Kerry’s deal, the U.S. would release an American imprisoned for spying for Israel, and Israel would release Palestinian prisoners and slow down construction of settlements in the West Bank.
Aaron David Miller, vice president for new initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a former Middle East negotiator for Republican and Democratic administrations, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to sort out the latest in the region.
- Aaron David Miller, vice president for new initiatives and a distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He was a Middle East negotiator for Republican and Democratic administrations. He tweets @aarondmiller2.