German Business Confidence Remains Upbeat in December, Upswing to Continue Into 2017

Business confidence in Germany remained upbeat during the month of December, with small and medium scale enterprises remaining in a good mood and more positive about their situation in December. Large enterprises are becoming increasingly optimistic and business confidence in the construction sector is breaking all records.

The SME business climate followed the positive trend of the year, rising to 20.0 balance points, up 1.2 points on the previous month. The indicator has thus gained nearly ten points since the low of February. The main factors that drove the improvement in sentiment were SMEs’ assessments of their business situation. They rose 2.5 points to 29.0 balance points. That was the best situation assessment in five years.

SMEs’ expectations of future business, on the other hand, just barely held steady on the previous month’s level, dropping 0.2 points to 10.8 balance points. Further, the expectation indicator, which continues to be well above average, is evidence of SMEs’ positive outlook in 2017.

The only drop of bitterness was the relatively noticeable cooling of retail sentiment in December, but only among large retailers. Among small and medium-sized retailers, on the other hand, sentiment continued to brighten, closing the year 2016 on an annual high.

German businesses are broadly optimistic about the year ahead. Elections are scheduled in the Netherlands, France and Germany, and possibly in Italy, too. Finally, tough Brexit negotiations will probably begin from spring onwards.

“Against the backdrop of significantly fewer work days, we expect overall economic growth of 1.3 percent in 2017. Germany’s upswing will enter its fourth year in a difficult environment,” said KfW Research in its latest publication.

Meanwhile, EUR/USD traded at 1.04, up 0.31 percent, while at 9:00GMT, the FxWirePro’s Hourly Euro Strength Index remained neutral at -35.00 (a reading above +75 indicates a bullish trend, while that below -75 a bearish trend). For more details, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/currencyindex

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

The post German Business Confidence Remains Upbeat in December, Upswing to Continue Into 2017 appeared first on forexnewstoday.net.

The EU Vs. The Nation State?

Submitted by George Igler via The Gatestone Institute,

  • The question remains, however, why any nation would want to throw out its sovereignty to institutions that are fundamentally unaccountable, that provide no mechanism for reversing direction, and whose only “solution” to problems involves arrogating to itself ever more authoritarian, rather than democratically legitimate, power.
  • Previous worries over unemployment and the economy have been side-lined: the issues now vexing European voters the most, according to the EU’s own figures, are mass immigration (45%) and terrorism (32%).
  • The Netherlands’ Partij Voor de Vrijheid, France’s Front National and Germany’s Alternativ für Deutschland are each pushing for a referendum on EU membership in their respective nations.
  • Given that the EU’s institutions have been so instrumental as a causal factor in the mass migration and terrorism that are now dominating the minds of national electorates, some might argue that the sooner Europeans get rid of the EU, which is now doing more harm than good, the better.

Attention is beginning to focus on elections due to take place in three separate European countries in 2017. The outcomes in the Netherlands, France and Germany will determine the likely future of the European Union (EU).

In the Netherlands, on March 15, all 150 members of the country’s House of Representatives will face the ballot box. The nation is currently led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose VVD party holds 40 seats in the legislative chamber, ruling in a coalition with the Dutch Labour party, which holds 35 seats.

In contrast, the Party for Freedom – Partij Voor de Vrijheid (PVV) – led by Geert Wilders, currently holds 12 seats.

According to an opinion poll, issued on December 21, Wilders’s party has leapt to 24% in the polls, while Rutte’s party has slid to 15%. Were an election to happen now, this would translate to 23 MPs for Rutte’s VVD, and 36 MPs for Wilders’s PVV.

Given the strict formula of proportional representation in the Netherlands, however, coalition governments are the norm. Should Wilders’s PVV come first in March, he will likely need to negotiate with one of his staunchest critics to form a government.

In France, two rounds of voting in the presidential elections are set to take place on April 23 and May 7 – with the two leading candidates from the first round facing each other in a runoff in the second round.

The most likely candidates to make it through to the second round, François Fillon, of the centre-right Les Républicains, and Marine Le Pen, of the populist Front National, remain tied in first-round polling.

A survey, published on December 7, gave each candidate 24%. Le Pen’s party, however, has previously fallen afoul of France’s dual-round voting system, in which voters for other parties have used the second round to swing behind the more moderate candidate.

A separate BVA poll, which solely simulated a run off between Fillon and Le Pen, showed the former the potential victor by 67%.

For all the discussion of a populist revolt in European politics, the parties agitating for change against the continent’s open borders, and its centralized, unaccountable and un-transparent law-making – originating from the institutions of the EU – continue to face an uphill climb.

In Germany, despite the calamities associated with the decision of its Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to accept 1.5 million Muslim migrants into her nation in 2015, she is seeking re-election.

On a date yet to be determined, between August 27 and October 22, German federal elections will take place to decide the members of the Bundestag, the country’s federal parliament.

Despite having been founded only in April 2013, the populist Alternative for Germany party – Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) – has recently risen to an unprecedented 16% in the polls, in the wake of the attack on Berlin Christmas shoppers on December 19. Terrorism is proving a driver of voters’ intentions.

The increasing levels of support being enjoyed by Europe’s populist Eurosceptic parties are clearly associated with issues which are coming to dominate popular concern. Previous worries over unemployment and the economy have been side-lined: the issues now vexing European voters the most, according to the EU’s own figures (pp.4-5), are mass immigration (45%) and terrorism (32%).

Breaking these Eurobarometer numbers down further, country by country (p.7), Dutch voters picked immigration as their greatest concern by a startling 56%, with terrorism following at 33%.

French voters, despite being subjected to more recent terrorist atrocities than any other European nation, picked immigration and terrorism by a margin of 36% and 35%, respectively, according to the latest EU report. The parlous state of the French economy continues to be a major concern to French voters.

The elections scheduled next year in the Netherlands, France, and Germany, are doubly significant in that they make up three of the six original signatory nations of the founding treaty which eventually gave rise to the EU.

The Netherlands’ Partij Voor de Vrijheid, France’s Front National and Germany’s Alternativ für Deutschland are each pushing for a referendum on EU membership in their respective nations.

Signed in March 1957, by Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the Treaty of Rome established both the European Economic Community – proposing a single market for goods, labour, services and capital within the bloc – and also, crucially, brought the European Commission into existence.

The executive body of the EU, which also has the sole remit for initiating legislation at the European level, is led by the controversial Jean-Claude Juncker, whose own grim opinion of the nation state’s role in the likely future of the European continent was made clear in a speech on December 9.

On the 25th anniversary of the drafting of the Maastricht Treaty, which paved the way for the Euro – the single currency shared by 19 countries within the 28 member EU – Mr. Juncker delivered a stark message:

Europe is the smallest continent. … We are a relevant part of the global economy: 25% of the global GPD. In 10 years from now, it will be 15%. In 20 years from now, not one single Member State of the European Union will be a member of the G7. … And from a demographic point of view, we are not really disappearing, but we are losing demographic weight.

 

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Europeans represented 20% of the human kind. Now, at the beginning of this century: 7%. At the end of this century: 4% out of 10 billion people. So those who do think that time has come to deconstruct, to put Europe in pieces, to subdivide us in national divisions, are totally wrong. We will not exist as single nations without the European Union.

In short, according to Juncker, the European nation state simply no longer has a future. Many, including voters this year in Britain and Italy, and potential supporters of the PVV, the AfD and the Front National, would emphatically disagree.

In the 2017 elections in the Netherlands and France, Geert Wilders (left) and François Fillon (right) have good chances of being elected.

Critics of the EU, whose philosophical foundations were laid between the two World Wars, have often claimed that its purpose was to tie together the economic fortunes of each member state so that exiting the bloc would become practicably impossible.

As one of the founding fathers of the EU, the French diplomat Jean Monnet, argued in 1943:

“There will be no peace in Europe if states are reconstituted on a basis of national sovereignty … Prosperity and vital social progress will remain elusive until the nations of Europe form a federation or a ‘European entity’ which will forge them into a single economic unit.”

This “fusion of (economic functions),” Monnet explained in 1952, “would compel nations to fuse their sovereignty into that of a single European State.”

Despite the historic vote by the United Kingdom to exit the EU on June 23, the procedural mechanism for Britain’s departure has yet to be implemented, and has been the subject of extended legal and parliamentary debate.

Those who had hoped that Britain would have already demonstrated a clear economic future for a nation outside the EU bloc, to embolden populist parties in other European countries seeking independence, before next year’s pivotal elections, have had their wishes caught up, temporarily at least, in the cogs of procedure.

The question remains, however, why any nation would want to throw out its sovereignty to institutions that are fundamentally unaccountable, that provide no mechanism for reversing direction, and whose only “solution” to problems involves arrogating to itself ever more authoritarian, rather than democratically legitimate, power.

However, the EU claims that support for the euro within the currency bloc is at an all-time high (70%), and a majority in countries like Hungary, Romania and Croatia would, in fact, like to join the EU’s currency union.

Given that concerns about mass migration, and the increase in crime and terrorism that have accompanied it, are only likely to grow, and that cross-national security cooperation is necessarily undermined by the EU’s open internal borders – Anis Amri, the Berlin truck assassin, was shot dead in Milan – Europe’s populist parties nevertheless face a sizeable challenge.

Despite voters’ concerns about mass migration, in the absence of presenting their electorates with a compelling economic vision outside of the EU, polling numbers still favour the political mainstream.

Given that the EU’s institutions have been so instrumental as a causal factor in the mass migration and terrorism that are now dominating the minds of national electorates, some might argue that the sooner Europeans get rid of the EU, which is now doing more harm than good, the better.

The post The EU Vs. The Nation State? appeared first on crude-oil.top.

The EU Vs. The Nation State?

Submitted by George Igler via The Gatestone Institute,

  • The question remains, however, why any nation would want to throw out its sovereignty to institutions that are fundamentally unaccountable, that provide no mechanism for reversing direction, and whose only “solution” to problems involves arrogating to itself ever more authoritarian, rather than democratically legitimate, power.
  • Previous worries over unemployment and the economy have been side-lined: the issues now vexing European voters the most, according to the EU’s own figures, are mass immigration (45%) and terrorism (32%).
  • The Netherlands’ Partij Voor de Vrijheid, France’s Front National and Germany’s Alternativ für Deutschland are each pushing for a referendum on EU membership in their respective nations.
  • Given that the EU’s institutions have been so instrumental as a causal factor in the mass migration and terrorism that are now dominating the minds of national electorates, some might argue that the sooner Europeans get rid of the EU, which is now doing more harm than good, the better.

Attention is beginning to focus on elections due to take place in three separate European countries in 2017. The outcomes in the Netherlands, France and Germany will determine the likely future of the European Union (EU).

In the Netherlands, on March 15, all 150 members of the country’s House of Representatives will face the ballot box. The nation is currently led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose VVD party holds 40 seats in the legislative chamber, ruling in a coalition with the Dutch Labour party, which holds 35 seats.

In contrast, the Party for Freedom – Partij Voor de Vrijheid (PVV) – led by Geert Wilders, currently holds 12 seats.

According to an opinion poll, issued on December 21, Wilders’s party has leapt to 24% in the polls, while Rutte’s party has slid to 15%. Were an election to happen now, this would translate to 23 MPs for Rutte’s VVD, and 36 MPs for Wilders’s PVV.

Given the strict formula of proportional representation in the Netherlands, however, coalition governments are the norm. Should Wilders’s PVV come first in March, he will likely need to negotiate with one of his staunchest critics to form a government.

In France, two rounds of voting in the presidential elections are set to take place on April 23 and May 7 – with the two leading candidates from the first round facing each other in a runoff in the second round.

The most likely candidates to make it through to the second round, François Fillon, of the centre-right Les Républicains, and Marine Le Pen, of the populist Front National, remain tied in first-round polling.

A survey, published on December 7, gave each candidate 24%. Le Pen’s party, however, has previously fallen afoul of France’s dual-round voting system, in which voters for other parties have used the second round to swing behind the more moderate candidate.

A separate BVA poll, which solely simulated a run off between Fillon and Le Pen, showed the former the potential victor by 67%.

For all the discussion of a populist revolt in European politics, the parties agitating for change against the continent’s open borders, and its centralized, unaccountable and un-transparent law-making – originating from the institutions of the EU – continue to face an uphill climb.

In Germany, despite the calamities associated with the decision of its Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to accept 1.5 million Muslim migrants into her nation in 2015, she is seeking re-election.

On a date yet to be determined, between August 27 and October 22, German federal elections will take place to decide the members of the Bundestag, the country’s federal parliament.

Despite having been founded only in April 2013, the populist Alternative for Germany party – Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) – has recently risen to an unprecedented 16% in the polls, in the wake of the attack on Berlin Christmas shoppers on December 19. Terrorism is proving a driver of voters’ intentions.

The increasing levels of support being enjoyed by Europe’s populist Eurosceptic parties are clearly associated with issues which are coming to dominate popular concern. Previous worries over unemployment and the economy have been side-lined: the issues now vexing European voters the most, according to the EU’s own figures (pp.4-5), are mass immigration (45%) and terrorism (32%).

Breaking these Eurobarometer numbers down further, country by country (p.7), Dutch voters picked immigration as their greatest concern by a startling 56%, with terrorism following at 33%.

French voters, despite being subjected to more recent terrorist atrocities than any other European nation, picked immigration and terrorism by a margin of 36% and 35%, respectively, according to the latest EU report. The parlous state of the French economy continues to be a major concern to French voters.

The elections scheduled next year in the Netherlands, France, and Germany, are doubly significant in that they make up three of the six original signatory nations of the founding treaty which eventually gave rise to the EU.

The Netherlands’ Partij Voor de Vrijheid, France’s Front National and Germany’s Alternativ für Deutschland are each pushing for a referendum on EU membership in their respective nations.

Signed in March 1957, by Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the Treaty of Rome established both the European Economic Community – proposing a single market for goods, labour, services and capital within the bloc – and also, crucially, brought the European Commission into existence.

The executive body of the EU, which also has the sole remit for initiating legislation at the European level, is led by the controversial Jean-Claude Juncker, whose own grim opinion of the nation state’s role in the likely future of the European continent was made clear in a speech on December 9.

On the 25th anniversary of the drafting of the Maastricht Treaty, which paved the way for the Euro – the single currency shared by 19 countries within the 28 member EU – Mr. Juncker delivered a stark message:

Europe is the smallest continent. … We are a relevant part of the global economy: 25% of the global GPD. In 10 years from now, it will be 15%. In 20 years from now, not one single Member State of the European Union will be a member of the G7. … And from a demographic point of view, we are not really disappearing, but we are losing demographic weight.

 

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Europeans represented 20% of the human kind. Now, at the beginning of this century: 7%. At the end of this century: 4% out of 10 billion people. So those who do think that time has come to deconstruct, to put Europe in pieces, to subdivide us in national divisions, are totally wrong. We will not exist as single nations without the European Union.

In short, according to Juncker, the European nation state simply no longer has a future. Many, including voters this year in Britain and Italy, and potential supporters of the PVV, the AfD and the Front National, would emphatically disagree.

In the 2017 elections in the Netherlands and France, Geert Wilders (left) and François Fillon (right) have good chances of being elected.

Critics of the EU, whose philosophical foundations were laid between the two World Wars, have often claimed that its purpose was to tie together the economic fortunes of each member state so that exiting the bloc would become practicably impossible.

As one of the founding fathers of the EU, the French diplomat Jean Monnet, argued in 1943:

“There will be no peace in Europe if states are reconstituted on a basis of national sovereignty … Prosperity and vital social progress will remain elusive until the nations of Europe form a federation or a ‘European entity’ which will forge them into a single economic unit.”

This “fusion of (economic functions),” Monnet explained in 1952, “would compel nations to fuse their sovereignty into that of a single European State.”

Despite the historic vote by the United Kingdom to exit the EU on June 23, the procedural mechanism for Britain’s departure has yet to be implemented, and has been the subject of extended legal and parliamentary debate.

Those who had hoped that Britain would have already demonstrated a clear economic future for a nation outside the EU bloc, to embolden populist parties in other European countries seeking independence, before next year’s pivotal elections, have had their wishes caught up, temporarily at least, in the cogs of procedure.

The question remains, however, why any nation would want to throw out its sovereignty to institutions that are fundamentally unaccountable, that provide no mechanism for reversing direction, and whose only “solution” to problems involves arrogating to itself ever more authoritarian, rather than democratically legitimate, power.

However, the EU claims that support for the euro within the currency bloc is at an all-time high (70%), and a majority in countries like Hungary, Romania and Croatia would, in fact, like to join the EU’s currency union.

Given that concerns about mass migration, and the increase in crime and terrorism that have accompanied it, are only likely to grow, and that cross-national security cooperation is necessarily undermined by the EU’s open internal borders – Anis Amri, the Berlin truck assassin, was shot dead in Milan – Europe’s populist parties nevertheless face a sizeable challenge.

Despite voters’ concerns about mass migration, in the absence of presenting their electorates with a compelling economic vision outside of the EU, polling numbers still favour the political mainstream.

Given that the EU’s institutions have been so instrumental as a causal factor in the mass migration and terrorism that are now dominating the minds of national electorates, some might argue that the sooner Europeans get rid of the EU, which is now doing more harm than good, the better.

The post The EU Vs. The Nation State? appeared first on crude-oil.top.

Relations between Obama, Netanyahu camps hit rock bottom

Thu, 2016-12-29
ID: 
1483001161425732500

HONOLULU: It took eight years of backbiting and pretending they got along for relations between President Barack Obama’s administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to finally hit rock bottom.
Though they’ve clashed bitterly before, mostly notably over Iran, the two governments seemed farther apart than ever after a speech Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry and last week’s United Nations resolution.
The key question for the Obama administration, newly willing to air grievances with Israel on live television, is why now?
“We cannot, in good conscience, do nothing and say nothing when we see the hope of peace slipping away,” Kerry said in a speech that ran more than an hour. 
Yet in just over three weeks, Obama will no longer be president, Kerry will no longer be secretary of State, and the US will have a new leader under no obligation to embrace any of what Kerry said. President-elect Donald Trump has assured Israel that things will be different after Jan. 20, when he’s to be inaugurated, and lamented how the Jewish state was “being treated very, very unfairly.”
Kerry took pains to voice America’s staunch commitment to Israel’s security and support for its future, and to detail US complaints about Palestinian leadership and its failure to sufficiently deter violence against Israelis. He laid out a six-point framework for a potential peace deal that it will be up to the next US government to try to enact, if it chooses to do so.
The White House has portrayed Obama’s decision to break with tradition by abstaining — rather than vetoing — a UN Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal as a reaction forced by other countries that brought it up for a vote.
The White House has also acknowledged that Obama had long considered the possibility of taking some symbolic step before leaving office to leave his imprint on the debate. For much of the year, his staff pored over options that included a UN resolution outlining principles for a peace deal and a presidential speech much like the one Kerry gave Wednesday. Yet there was reluctance to act before the US election, given the way it would have thrust the Israeli-Palestinian issue into the campaign.
Kerry acknowledged Trump appears to favor a different approach. Yet frustrated by years of Israeli actions he deemed counterproductive for peace, Obama appeared to have decided it was better to make his administration’s views known while still in office, even if it risked a blockbuster clash with America’s closest ally.
In his speech, Kerry tore into Israel for settlement-building, accusing Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy. He defended the move to allow the UN vote, the spark that set off an extraordinary and deepening diplomatic spat between the US and its closest Mideast ally.
“If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace,” Kerry said
Shortly after, Netanyahu appeared on camera in Jerusalem and suggested he was done with the Obama administration and ready to deal with Trump. The Israeli leader faulted Kerry for obsessing over settlements while paying mere “lip service” to Palestinian attacks and incitement of violence.
“Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders,” Netanyahu said.
Trump wouldn’t say whether settlements should be reined in. But he told reporters Israel was being “treated very, very unfairly by a lot of different people.”
In a nod to Netanyahu’s concerns that Obama would take more parting shots, Kerry seemed to rule out the possibility Obama would support more UN action or, even more controversially, recognize statehood.
The U.S, the Palestinians and most of the world oppose Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians for an independent state. But Israel’s government argues previous construction freezes didn’t advance peace and that the settlements — now home to 600,000 Israelis — must be resolved in direct talks Israelis-Palestinian talks.
While Israel’s Arab population has citizenship rights, the roughly 2.5 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank do not, and most in annexed east Jerusalem have residency rights but not citizenship.
Kerry said a future deal would have to ensure secure borders for Israel and a Palestinian state formed in territories Israel captured in 1967, with “mutually agreed, equivalent swaps.” He said both countries must fully recognize each other, ensure access to religious sites and relinquish other existing claims. Kerry also called for assistance for Palestinian refugees.

Main category: 

Relations between Obama, Netanyahu camps hit rock bottom

Thu, 2016-12-29
ID: 
1483001161425732500

HONOLULU: It took eight years of backbiting and pretending they got along for relations between President Barack Obama’s administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to finally hit rock bottom.
Though they’ve clashed bitterly before, mostly notably over Iran, the two governments seemed farther apart than ever after a speech Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry and last week’s United Nations resolution.
The key question for the Obama administration, newly willing to air grievances with Israel on live television, is why now?
“We cannot, in good conscience, do nothing and say nothing when we see the hope of peace slipping away,” Kerry said in a speech that ran more than an hour. 
Yet in just over three weeks, Obama will no longer be president, Kerry will no longer be secretary of State, and the US will have a new leader under no obligation to embrace any of what Kerry said. President-elect Donald Trump has assured Israel that things will be different after Jan. 20, when he’s to be inaugurated, and lamented how the Jewish state was “being treated very, very unfairly.”
Kerry took pains to voice America’s staunch commitment to Israel’s security and support for its future, and to detail US complaints about Palestinian leadership and its failure to sufficiently deter violence against Israelis. He laid out a six-point framework for a potential peace deal that it will be up to the next US government to try to enact, if it chooses to do so.
The White House has portrayed Obama’s decision to break with tradition by abstaining — rather than vetoing — a UN Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal as a reaction forced by other countries that brought it up for a vote.
The White House has also acknowledged that Obama had long considered the possibility of taking some symbolic step before leaving office to leave his imprint on the debate. For much of the year, his staff pored over options that included a UN resolution outlining principles for a peace deal and a presidential speech much like the one Kerry gave Wednesday. Yet there was reluctance to act before the US election, given the way it would have thrust the Israeli-Palestinian issue into the campaign.
Kerry acknowledged Trump appears to favor a different approach. Yet frustrated by years of Israeli actions he deemed counterproductive for peace, Obama appeared to have decided it was better to make his administration’s views known while still in office, even if it risked a blockbuster clash with America’s closest ally.
In his speech, Kerry tore into Israel for settlement-building, accusing Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy. He defended the move to allow the UN vote, the spark that set off an extraordinary and deepening diplomatic spat between the US and its closest Mideast ally.
“If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace,” Kerry said
Shortly after, Netanyahu appeared on camera in Jerusalem and suggested he was done with the Obama administration and ready to deal with Trump. The Israeli leader faulted Kerry for obsessing over settlements while paying mere “lip service” to Palestinian attacks and incitement of violence.
“Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders,” Netanyahu said.
Trump wouldn’t say whether settlements should be reined in. But he told reporters Israel was being “treated very, very unfairly by a lot of different people.”
In a nod to Netanyahu’s concerns that Obama would take more parting shots, Kerry seemed to rule out the possibility Obama would support more UN action or, even more controversially, recognize statehood.
The U.S, the Palestinians and most of the world oppose Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians for an independent state. But Israel’s government argues previous construction freezes didn’t advance peace and that the settlements — now home to 600,000 Israelis — must be resolved in direct talks Israelis-Palestinian talks.
While Israel’s Arab population has citizenship rights, the roughly 2.5 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank do not, and most in annexed east Jerusalem have residency rights but not citizenship.
Kerry said a future deal would have to ensure secure borders for Israel and a Palestinian state formed in territories Israel captured in 1967, with “mutually agreed, equivalent swaps.” He said both countries must fully recognize each other, ensure access to religious sites and relinquish other existing claims. Kerry also called for assistance for Palestinian refugees.

Main category: