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Kerry returning to Mideast Wednesday to push peace talks

BRUSSELS — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will return to the Middle East on Wednesday to continue his push to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The State Department says Kerry will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week in Jerusalem. After seeing Abbas, he will travel to Algeria and Morocco.

An official close to the Mideast peace talks has said a deal is emerging to extend the troubled peace negotiations. It could include the U.S. release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who spied for Israel, in exchange for Israel’s release of 400 Palestinian prisoners, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the deal with the media on the record.

MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press