U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Surprises Students Visiting Israel with AJC Project Interchange

Jan 03, 2014, 14:56 ET from American Jewish Committee

JERUSALEM, Jan. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. university student leaders traveling in Israel with AJC's Project Interchange got the surprise of their lives today when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dropped by a briefing being conducted by State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki.

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Psaki conducted a wide-ranging, in-depth briefing for the AJC Project Interchange student delegation on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The AJC Project Interchange student delegation includes campus media leaders, many of them editors-in-chief of their campus newspapers, from across the U.S. and California university student leaders.

Kerry, who is in Israel for his 10th visit to the region, fielded a number of questions from the students during his surprise visit with the campus leaders.  "I remain hopeful and a believer in the possibility" of Israeli-Palestinian peace, said Kerry.

Kerry has met twice with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on this visit, and immediately after meeting with the American students he left for Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas.

Kerry addressed AJC's annual Global Forum in Washington, D.C., in June, his first address to a Jewish organization since becoming Secretary of State.

During their eight day visit to Israel, the students have met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, both in Israel and in Ramallah. AJC's Project Interchange is dedicated to enhancing understanding of Israel as well as to introducing groups to the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the larger regional situation.  

The State Department briefing also covered, among other regional issues, the conflict in Syria and the P5+1 negotiations with Iran.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee