Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the "time is ripe" for Mideast peace, but that without face-to-face talks Israel can't expect lasting security and the Palestinians can't create an independent state.
Clinton spoke with reporters Monday during a flight from Washington to Egypt for the latest round of the current Mideast peace talks, which began earlier this month. She arrived in Egypt early Tuesday.
Clinton said Monday the Obama administration believes Israel should extend the moratorium, but she also said it would take an effort by both sides to find a way around the problem.
"We recognize that an agreement that could be forged between the Israelis and the Palestinians ... that would enable the negotiations to continue is in the best interests of both sides," she said.