Clinton: Netanyahu, Abbas are right leaders for peace

Sec. of State calls Ahmadinejad "volatile" and "inflammatory"; says has lots of evidence sanctions are working.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 14, 2010 17:29
3 minute read.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

HillaryClintonAndAhmadinjadPoster58. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with ABC News about the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, Lebanon, and the Iranian threat on Thursday in Brussels.

Speaking about the peace process being stalled only two weeks after beginning, Secretary Clinton admitted that, "If this were easy, it would have been solved a long time ago." She continued, "It's an incredibly complex and emotionally charged situation."

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Clinton also acknowledged her understanding that "security is paramount" for Israel. Echoing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev's statements one day earlier, Clinton recognized that Israel is wary of seeing a repeat of the "experience of having left Lebanon and now having Hezbollah and rockets on their border, having left Gaza and now having Hamas and rockets on their border."

Noting the needs of each side, she said, "Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu have to believe that any peace deal will lead to greater, not lesser security. The Palestinians, who have long sought the right to have their own state, deserve to have those aspirations satisfied." Touching on the apprehension of both sides in the talks, Clinton said, "they have a lot of concerns about how it will be done and whether it will be viable."

Secretary Clinton emphasized her and the US government's commitment to the talks, saying that she came to the situation with a great prior understanding of the difficulty involved.

Despite the difficulties, however, Clinton did express optimism, saying that she is "convinced that both [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu want to be the leaders that resolve this conflict. But they each have internal and external pressures that are bearing down on them that make it an extremely difficult and sensitive negotiation.



She said that the US continues to work every day in order to help create the necessary environment that the parties need to hold their "very serious negotiation."

'Ahmadinejad is volatile and inflammatory'

Speaking about the volatility in the region as a result of Iran, Clinton noted that the Palestinians and many Arab leaders "are united against the kind of rhetoric and actions that Iran is taking, and the threat that Iran poses with its pursuit of nuclear weapons and with its support of terrorism."

Referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon that began on Wednesday, Clinton continued, "when the Iranian president goes to Lebanon, and we know that they are supporting financially and in every other way Hezbollah, which is on the border of Israel and the border of the Palestinian areas, then that is a volatile situation."

Secretary Clinton continued, "So this man coming and being so volatile and using language that is inflammatory is just true to form. We saw him do it in New York, we see him do it around the world, and it reflects an attitude in the Iranian Government that unfortunately has caused many in the region to be quite concerned about their intentions and their actions."

Clinton spoke about the sanctions that the UN, the US and EU have placed against Iran, she said that the US has worked "hard for the last year to get those sanctions in place. And we have lots of evidence that those sanctions against Iran are working."

She said that although Iran has made recent statements indicating their desire to return to negotiations with the US and the EU, "they are defiant and they are incredibly difficult to deal with. It’s what we have to cope with every single day."

Summing up the US' commitment to the Iranian issue, she said that the US is constantly trying "to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon, which, in the hands of leadership like we’ve seen, would be incredibly destabilizing."

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