Secretary of State John Kerry will fly to Israel on Wednesday to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians.
The stop in Jerusalem is part of an eight-day trip to the Middle East and Asia, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday.
Kerry will then travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The announcement follows comments from Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official, that the United States is using the negotiations to smooth Israeli concerns over the recent interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program — which Israeli officials have heavily criticized.
The secretary of State was in the region last week, but Psaki noted that he believes that it is “an important time in the negotiations, and he felt it was important to return to the region.”
Following his meetings, Kerry will travel to Vietnam, where he will focus on how the U.S. and Vietnam can work together on climate change and energy issues, as well on strengthening the relationship
Kerry will finish his trip in the Philippines, where he will hold meetings with senior officials on a handful of issues and view the damage left by a super typhoon that hit the island nation last month.