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Kerry Plans Middle East Speech as Israel Retaliates Over UN Snub

  • Speech follows U.S. absention on UN Security Council Vote
  • Paris conference in January could ramp up pressure on Israel
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Kerry: Friends Need to Tell Each Other the Hard Truth

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will offer a “comprehensive vision” for how Middle East peace can be achieved in a speech Wednesday in Washington, as Israel steps up its response to a censure from the United Nations over the construction of settlements in the West Bank.

With barely three weeks left in the Obama administration, Kerry will lay out his plan as tensions over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies threaten to leave Israel more isolated internationally. Along with the Kerry speech, France is gathering dozens of foreign ministers in Paris on Jan. 15 to discuss the conflict. Israeli officials say that could result in a proposal they view as unfavorable, which may then be taken to the UN for a seal of approval.