The United States and Israel must work together in “smart, creative and courageous” ways to resolve vital regional issues, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday in Israel, the last stop on her two-week trip through Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Clinton met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, discussing Egypt, Iran, Syria, efforts to reach a peace agreement with Palestinians, and other issues.
“It is a time of uncertainty but also of opportunity,” Clinton said after her meeting with Peres. “It is a chance to advance our shared goal of security, stability, peace, and democracy, along with prosperity for the millions of people in this region who have yet to see a better future.”
A key issue was Iran, whose efforts to build a nuclear program have unnerved many world leaders, resulting in condemnation and sanctions from the United Nations. It has also raised the specter of military action by Israel against Iran.
“There is a world agreement that the Iranian government is after nuclear weapons and that its policy of terrorism is endangering everybody. There is a global understating that we must do everything we can to prevent Iran from endangering others,” Peres said, according to the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office.
“The coalition you are building and the measures you are taking have an impact,” he said. “You are making the Iranians understand that this is just the beginning and that all options are on the table.”
Clinton also met Monday with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at her hotel in Jerusalem.
Before departing the Middle East for Washington, Clinton was scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is now serving as the official envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East — the group of four nations working to mediate a peace deal.
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