U.S. Evaluating Role In Mideast Talks, Frustrated Kerry Says

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Secretary of State John Kerry signaled Friday that the U.S. is losing patience over lack of progress in the Middle East peace talks, saying it was “reality check time.”

Kerry said Washington was evaluating its role in the process, saying "both sides have taken steps that are not helpful” in recent days.

His comments came after Israel called off a planned release of Palestinian prisoners Thursday.

“This is not an open-ended effort, it never has been,” he told reporters during a visit to Morocco, adding that the U.S. would "evaluate very carefully where it is and where it is going."

However, he insisted that efforts were not in vain, saying: "None of this time has been wasted.”

In August, Kerry persuaded Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to resume talks and set a nine-month timetable for an agreement to be reached. That timetable expires at the end of this month.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

- Alastair Jamieson