By Jill Dougherty
Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he will return to the Middle East later this month to try to push forward on the peace process.
In Rome Wednesday, Kerry met with Israeli Justice Minister Tsipi Livni and Itzhak Moho, Israel's negotiator with the Palestinians.
Conferring at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Italy, Kerry said he and his partners face a short time timespan. "We understand the imperative to try to have some sense of direction as rapidly as we can," he said.
He called the Arab League’s decision last week “an important step forward” and said he spoke Wednesday with Qatar’s prime minister, the chairman of the committee.
Last week the Arab League agreed to ease its demand that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders and accept the possibility of tweaking the borders with agreed-upon land swaps.
"They want to keep the progress moving," Kerry said.
Kerry will travel to Israel on May 21 or 22 to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Livni praised Kerry's "enthusiasm and efforts" and said "they can change the reality." She thanked Kerry, adding that "some of us had lost hope."