Kerry plays down spat with Israeli defense chief

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Israel's Defense Minister Calls John Kerry

JERUSALEM (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is playing down criticism by Israel's defense minister of American efforts to broker Mideast peace.

Speaking to reporters in Kuwait on Wednesday, Kerry said he can't let "one set of comments" undermine his work. He said he will continue his efforts and work with "willing participants who are committed to peace."

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was quoted by the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot Tuesday as calling Kerry "obsessive" and "messianic" and dismissed a U.S. security plan as worthless.

After the U.S. condemned the reported comments as "offensive and inappropriate," Yaalon apologized.

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