Netanyahu, Clinton vow cooperation on Iran

Palestinian officials skeptical of peace breakthroughs after US secretary of state meets PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

July 17, 2012 00:55
2 minute read.
Clinton and Netanyahu meet in Israel.

Clinton and Netanyahu 390. (photo credit: Moshe Milner / GPO)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Monday night and vowed cooperation on a broad range of issues, with Iran standing out, in particular, among them.

"We have our common goals to make sure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon," Netanyahu said prior to the meeting.

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Clinton said: "We will continue to consult closely as we have on an almost daily basis between our two governments to chart the best way forward for peace and stability for Israel, the United States and the world."

Clinton said that her visit should reiterate Washington's commitment to Israel's security, and its investment in Israel's long term future.

Israel and the US, she said, cooperate every day at the "highest level and across many dimensions."

The secretary of state said that during her visit to Egypt, a visit that preceded her coming to Jerusalem, she said both privately and publicly that the US and the international community look to the new leaders in Egypt to play a constructive role in advancing regional peace and security "in particular by upholding their international peace treaty with Israel."

Regarding the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, Clinton said that during her meetings in Jerusalem, and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 12 days ago in Paris, that there was a need to build on the exchange of letters between Abbas and Netanyahu, because the status quo is "unsustainable."

Clinton also met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday, but the Palestinian Authority said Clinton did not carry new ideas that could pave the way for the resumption of the peace talks with Israel.

Following the meeting, a PA official in Ramallah said that the talks focused on the PA’s demand for additional weapons to its security forces in the West Bank and the release of Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

The PA is demanding the release of Palestinians who were imprisoned before the signing of the Oslo Accords and permission to import weapons before its leaders agree to return to the negotiating table.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who met with Clinton in Paris last week, presented his demands to the US Administration and requested that Washington exert pressure on Israel to respond favorably.

The official did not say whether Clinton relayed to Fayyad a reply from the Israeli government to the PA demands.

However, the official pointed out that Clinton did not carry new ideas that could facilitate the resumption of the peace process.

“We don’t expect a breakthrough as the Americans are too busy with their presidential election,” the PA official told The Jerusalem Post.

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