US President Obama and Hillary Clinton 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes)
WASHINGTON - The United States plans a new push to promote comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday, suggesting reinvigorated US role in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
US President Barack Obama will lay out US policy toward the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks, Clinton told Arab and US policy makers in her speech at the US-Islamic World Forum, a gathering sponsored by Qatar and the
Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
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Obama's launch of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks last year went
nowhere and he is under pressure to make a new initiative or face the
prospect of the Palestinians seeking the UN General Assembly's blessing
for a Palestinian state.
"The president will be speaking in greater detail about America's policy
in the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks," Clinton said.
"America's core interests and values have not changed, including our
commitment to promote human rights, resolve long-standing conflicts,
counter Iran's threats and defeat al Qaida and its extremist allies,"
she added. "This includes renewed pursuit of comprehensive Arab-Israeli
Clinton spoke against the backdrop of the popular revolts that have
toppled long-time authoritarian leaders in Tunisia and Egypt this year
and spurred public protests in much of the Arab world, including Libya,
Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.
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"The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable
than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months," she
said, saying the only way to meet both people's aspirations was through a
"And while it is a truism that only the parties themselves can make the
hard choices for peace, there is no substitute for continued, active
American leadership -- and the president and I are committed to that,"
Meanwhile, the Obama administration blocked a British, French and German
initiative to propose outlines for a final settlement at the Quartet
meeting scheduled to take place at the end of the week, the Associated
Press reported on Tuesday.
The White House, however, pressed the other Quartet members to instead
delay the meeting. One US official told the AP, "It wasn't the right
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