US Secretary of State John Kerry
is planning to visit the Palestinian Authority in mid February, the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds reported Wednesday, citing "sources in the know."
This will be Kerry's first visit to the region since taking office.
Kerry is also expected to visit Israel ahead of US President Barack Obama's
visit, which has been set for spring.
A source familiar with the details of the visit told the newspaper that "These American measures are important since they emphasize the US commitment to peace.
"We hope this will assist in putting pressure on Israel
to reach a two-state solution, stop settlement-building and release of all prisoners."
Also Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas'
spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh said that the Palestinians hope that Obama's visit to the region will "mark the beginning of a new US policy in the Middle East."
"We hope that President Obama's visit to the region is the beginning of a new US policy that leads to the realization of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state
in the territory of the State of Palestine occupied since 1967, in accordance with international resolutions," he said.
Roi Kais and AFP contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop