U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration will soon
present "specific proposals" to Israel and the Palestinians on ways to
advance toward a two-state solution in the Middle East conflict.
Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said they were
committed to the creation of a separate Palestinian state alongside
Israel, following Wednesday's talks in Washington.
Clinton indicated the United States will ask Arab states in the region
for confidence-building steps with Israel to improve the atmosphere for
Secretary Clinton also said the U.S. wants Israel to stop expanding
Jewish settlements in the West Bank, without exception. She said U.S.
President Barack Obama stressed the point to Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu when he visited Washington last week.
Clinton is scheduled to meet later Wednesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington.
In Jerusalem Wednesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu urged Arab countries
to normalize ties with Israel in order to facilitate
Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
Mr. Obama and other world leaders have voiced support for a two-state
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Mr. Netanyahu has not
endorsed that approach.
President Obama is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Abbas on Thursday at the White House.
A White House spokesman (Robert Gibbs) said Wednesday the
U.S. hopes Mr. Abbas will agree to the resumption of peace
negotiations, which the Israeli prime minister recently called for.
Next week, President Obama embarks on an overseas tour that will begin
with stops in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. U.S. officials say Mr. Obama will
give a speech from Cairo directed to the global Muslim community on
Secretary Clinton said Mr. Obama is looking forward to his trip to
Cairo not only because of the chance to speak to the Islamic world but
because of the opportunity to address people everywhere about common