Kerry Holding to Spring Target Date

TEL AVIV (Reuters) -

Shrugging off gloomy predictions of failure, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Israelis and Palestinians remained committed to peace talks and were on course to wrap up a full deal by April.

Speaking at the end of his second visit to the region in just a week, Kerry said the two sides were discussing a framework for a final-status accord to resolve the core issues at the heart of the decades-old conflict.

“We’re not talking at this point about any shifts (in the schedule),” he said, dismissing bleak assessments from both sides on progress in the U.S.-brokered negotiations, which resumed in July after a three-year pause.

“We are working on an approach that both guarantees Israel’s security and fully respects Palestinian sovereignty,” Kerry said, without giving further details.