U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD' ah-BAHS') for the first time since peace talks with Israel collapsed last month.

Kerry says he's only talking informally with Abbas on Wednesday before other meetings he's having Thursday on Syria and Ukraine.

Kerry will try, though, to keep the Palestinian leader committed to the peace process, which fell apart after nine months of talks amid one-sided moves by both sides.

Abbas is moving to establish an interim government with Hamas (huh-MAHS'), considered a terror group by the U.S. Abbas says the new government will be bound by his plan to seek peace with Israel. This way, he hopes to allay U.S. concerns about a partnership with militants who refuse to recognize Israel or renounce violence.