JERUSALEM, Jan. 5 -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday morning before leaving Israel that any future peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would be "fair and balanced."
Kerry visited the region this weekend in another round of shuttle diplomacy to save the deteriorating talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which resumed in July, and tried to create a framework for guidelines of the actual agreement, including a timetable.
"President Obama and I are committed to putting forward ideas that are fair and balanced, and to improving the security of all peoples," Kerry said in Tel Aviv before his departure, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Israel.
He added that both sides have ideas about the compromises that the leaders would have to decide upon in the near future in order to advance the agreement.
"This has been a productive couple of days," Kerry said. "We have had very positive -- and I have to say very serious, very intensive conversations," he added, saying that the controversial topics like the sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, the settlements, the question of the Palestinian refugees and Jerusalem's status were all discussed.
Kerry will return to Israel tonight, after a short visit in Jordan and Saudi Arabia throughout the day, and would meet once more with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the evening.
The talks are currently at rock bottom, over Israel's insistence to keep a security force in the Jordan Valley, slated to be part of the Palestinian state, and Israel's construction in the settlements in the West Bank.
On Dec. 29, 2013, Israel's Ministerial Committee for Legislation passed a bill to annex Jewish settlements in the Palestinian Jordan Valley to be an official part of the Jewish state.
The bill still needs to be approved by the Knesset (Israeli parliament). If the bill becomes a law, Netanyahu will be unable to accept the U.S. proposal.