Kerry Asks Qatar And Turkey To Influence The Release Of Israeli Soldier

John KerryAP PhotoU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives to Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

Fearing an escalation of violence in Gaza, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Turkey and Qatar on Friday to use their influence to secure the release of an Israeli soldier whose reported abduction led to the collapse of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Kerry called Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu soon after an aide informed him of reports of the abduction, and the killings of two Israeli soldiers, while flying back from a visit to India.

The incidents led to the quick breakdown of a ceasefire Kerry had worked hard to broker.

“We have urged them, implored them to use their influence to do whatever they can to get that soldier returned,” a senior State Department official told reporters travelling with Kerry. “Absent that, the risk of this continuing to escalate, leading to further loss of life is very high.”

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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This article originally appeared at Reuters. Copyright 2014. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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