Israel and the Palestinians are making some progress in peace talks but there is still a chance no deal will be reached, according to John Kerry.
Speaking before he flew to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the US Secretary of State said both sides had a sharper idea of the compromises to secure an agreement.
All the major issues in the conflict, borders, security, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem, are under discussion.
The US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian negotiations resumed last July after a three-year halt, with Kerry leading the push for a deal within nine months. But both Israel and the Palestinians have predicted the target date for a deal will not be met. Kerry has been trying to establish what US officials call a “framework” for guidelines for an eventual peace accord.
The latest round of talks with Kerry has been described as “comprehensive” by Israel but it insists that no progress can be made until the Palestinians recognise their right to exist.
Palestinians see a major obstacle in Israel’s settlements – and point to the continued development in the occupied West Bank; an area both sides want as part of their state in any peace deal.