Ambassador Shapiro: Kerry optimistic about final Mid East accord

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro reported Tuesday that US Secretary of State John Kerry would soon return to the region and was optimistic about his chances of bringing the Israelis and Palestinians to a final peace accord, even though gaps remain on all the core issues.. Shapiro referred to “new elements” in the proposed framework, introduced after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas were found in private conversations to be willing to take hard decisions. Kerry is now aiming not at an interim accord but a final-status agreement that will cover all the central issues of the dispute. 

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