Jerusalem: US Secretary of State John Kerry exhibited Friday optimism on the Mideast peace talks at the end of his trip to Israel, saying "Israel and the Palestinians are closer to a peace agreement than they have been in years".
Kerry concluded a two-day visit to Israel, meant to push forward the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians , as he departed Friday noon from Tel Aviv`s Ben Gurion Airport, Xinhua reported citing a US embassy spokesperson.
According to local media, despite Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejecting a new plan proposal for security arrangements in the West Bank presented by Kerry and his advisor General John Allen, there was "some progress" in the talks between Kerry and Abbas on Thursday, following a four-hour session in Ramallah.
Kerry said although no information about the talks had been leaked out, it did not mean that the progress was not being made.
However, an Israeli official said Friday that it seems that both sides are still pessimistic about any progress in the peace talks.
The Palestinian government accused Israel of sabotaging negotiations with its recent announcements of thousands of housing units to be build in the West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements. It has also slammed Israel`s insistence on security issues without discussing other aspects of a future peace agreement.
Israel insists on maintaining security control over some posts throughout the West Bank and control the space over the West Bank.