Clinton to Peres: Our task is to deepen our friendship

President says Mideast in storm of calls by young generation for change, democracy, peace; Clinton says Obama "looking forward" to meeting.

Hillary Clinton, Shimon Peres 311  (photo credit: Mark Neyman / GPO)
Hillary Clinton, Shimon Peres 311
(photo credit: Mark Neyman / GPO)
President Shimon Peres met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Monday, one of several meetings he is slated to hold with top US officials during his visit, including the US president.
Clinton, speaking before the meeting, praised Peres as "a leader of such exceptional reputation and commitment," and said it was an honor to receive him. She noted that US President Barack Obama was "very much looking forward" to meeting with him in order to discuss Peres' perspectives on various issues he has raised and "the way forward."
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Discussing changes currently taking place in the Middle East, Clinton said, "This is a time of great opportunity, but it’s also a time of many challenges. So our task together is to deepen and broaden our friendship, our relationship." She added that by doing so, "we can work toward the kind of future that you have always believed in and that you have held out as a promise for the children of Israel and the children of all the countries of the Middle East." Referencing a comment made by the president about generational changes in the region, Clinton told Peres that, at 88 years-old, he is "among the youngest people I know." The president had said that the Middle East is experiencing a storm of calls by the young generation for change, democracy and peace. Israel, he added, hopes that the Arab world can find the path to peace and democracy, and that it would be happy to take part in changes [that bring about] peace and stability. Peres told the US secretary of state that in Israel, her name represents true friendship that continues to work, even under difficult circumstances.