Amman: US Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting on Friday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and planned to return to Jerusalem for more talks with the Israelis as he continues his latest round of Mideast diplomacy in an effort to get both sides back to the negotiating table.
Kerry was using Amman as a base for the talks. He drove to Jerusalem last night for a dinner meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that lasted about four hours.
He and his delegation returned to Amman early Friday. Around noon, he drove to a diplomatic area of Amman for a luncheon with Abbas.
"It`s good to be back and I look forward to our conversation. We have a lot to talk about, obviously, as you know," Kerry told Abbas.
As reporters and photographers were ushered out of the meeting, Kerry turned to Abbas and said: "We had a good long meeting." It was an apparent reference to his meeting with Netanyahu the night before. "We`re going back."
State Department officials have said little about the details of the talks. It was clear from the travel schedule given to the delegation that Kerry was going to go back to Jerusalem, but State Department officials wouldn`t confirm the return trip.
It, however, was one of the first things Kerry told Abbas as the two men sat down to talk.
Kerry, who is on a two-week swing through the Mideast and Asia, left Amman last evening in a convoy of nearly a dozen vehicles for the roughly 90-minute drive to Jerusalem. A Jordanian military helicopter flew over his convoy during the trip, according to a reporter who was allowed to make the trip with Kerry and his delegation.