TEhran, YJC. -- US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Monday for a shortened stay in Brunei for Asia security talks after speaking again to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on reviving peace talks.
Kerry had delayed his departure for the ASEAN bloc's conference in Brunei by a day as he shuttled between Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in hopes the two sides can restart peace talks after a nearly three-year hiatus.
Kerry, who reported progress but no breakthrough during his four days of exhaustive talks, spoke again to Netanyahu by telephone during the more than 12 hours in the air between Tel Aviv and Brunei, a US official said.
The top US diplomat will head directly into talks in Brunei and plans to hold a series of bilateral meetings including with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. China's maritime disputes with other Asian nations are weighing heavily on the Brunei talks.
Kerry will hold a three-way meeting later Monday with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea, two close US allies whose often rocky relationship took a turn for the worse this year over issues related to colonial history.
A US official, speaking to AFP ahead of the trip, said that Kerry would try to find ways for three-way cooperation but indicated that he would not try to mediate over emotionally charged history rows between Seoul and Tokyo.
One of Kerry's most closely watched meetings will take place Tuesday when he meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russia is a key supporter of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Kerry has been working with Gulf Arab states to step up assistance to the opposition.
Kerry and Lavrov are also certain to discuss the case of Edward Snowden, the former US government contractor who is wanted by Washington after leaking details of widespread surveillance on communications.
Snowden has mysteriously vanished at Moscow's airport after flying in from Hong Kong as he seeks asylum in Ecuador or another left-leaning Latin American nation.