Clinton calls for immediate resumption of peace talks

US secretary of state says that the US opposes unilateral Palestinian moves to seek statehood in the United Nations, in PBS interview.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Saul Loeb)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Saul Loeb)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday called for an immediate resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and denounced Palestinian efforts seeking unilateral declarations of statehood in the United Nations.
Speaking in an interview with PBS, Clinton said that despite the unrest currently taking place in the Middle East, Israel and the Palestinians should realize the immediateness of the need to resume negotiations.
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As both sides are attempting to analyze what regional change "means for their future positions," Clinton said, "I would hope - and [US President Barack] Obama has said that he will continue to press both sides, which is what we believe we have to do - that everyone would realize that negotiations are the only way."
But more than negotiations being "the only way," the US secretary of state added, "they are an immediate need."
She emphasized that even in the midst of everything going on the region, "it is in the best interest of both the Israelis and Palestinians" to get back to the "hard work" of peace negotiations.
Despite the "immediate need" to get back to peace talks, Clinton made clear that the United States remains opposed to the unilateral creation of a Palestinian state in the United Nations.
"We do not support any unilateral effort by the Palestinians to go to the United Nations to try to obtain some authorization or approval vote with respect to statehood," she said, adding, "We think we can only achieve the two state solution that we strongly advocate through negotiations."
Last week, Clinton told a Washington think tank gathering that the White House was gearing up to present a new Middle Eastern policy, which would include "renewed pursuit of comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace."
"The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months," she added, saying the only way to meet both people's aspirations was through a two-state solution.
"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," she added.
Reuters contributed to this report.