"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon, everybody. I’m really pleased to be back in Africa and to be back in Addis Ababa, a city of enormous energy, and in a country that is really changing and on the move. I had a series of very productive meetings this morning with my foreign minister counterparts and African Union counterparts, and also have just concluded a meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam.
MS. PSAKI: The next question will be from Anne Gearan of The Washington Post.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, your end-of-April deadline for an Israeli-Palestinian outline peace deal has passed and talks, I guess, are at best now on hiatus. In hindsight, would you have done anything differently, and do you think the parties were simply not ready to make the hard choices you asked of them? And looking forward, is now the time to put a comprehensive American peace plan on the table in lieu of a negotiated one that didn’t come to pass over the last nine months?
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Anne, let me just say first of all that, to begin with, the date of April 29th became irrelevant several weeks ago. And it became completely irrelevant when the talks were suspended. So the combination of the appeal to 15 different treaties when – at the time when the prisoners exchange did not take place, then combined with the reconciliation unilaterally with Hamas, which came as a complete and total unannounced event, without any heads-up, so to speak, at the moment of important negotiations, that resulted, obviously, in the suspension which we’re living with now, which is the state of play and has been for the last days.
That said, both parties still indicate that they feel it’s important to negotiate and want to find a way to negotiate. So we believe the best thing to do right now is pause, take a hard look at these things, and find out what is possible and what is not possible in the days ahead. As I have consistently said, I think peace is to the benefit of both parties – benefit of Israel, and benefit of the Palestinians. Both leaders took serious steps in order to engage in this discussion. What has not been laid out publicly and what I will do at some appropriate moment of time is make clear to everybody the progress that was made. These eight months, eight months plus were not without significant progress in certain areas. And I don’t think anybody wants to lose that progress.
So I personally remain convinced that as each sort of work through the reasons that things began to become more difficult in the final hours, there may be quiet ways within which to begin to work on next steps. But one thing I know, the fundamentals of this conflict will not go away, and importantly, I believe both parties have a very real interest in wanting to try to find a way to make progress.
So it’s time for pause, but it’s also time to be reflective about the ways in which one might be able to find a common ground even out of these difficulties.