United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks fresh and charming today, Monday, July 16, as she completes her 12 day tour of the Near, Middle, and Far East, a tour devoted to a wide range of issues, involving direct talks in Israel and Egypt, as well as meetings in Japan, Afghanistan, and the Vietnam/ Laos/ Cambodia region. The Secretary of State is advancing the view of American President Barack Obama and working closely with the United States State Department.
In Jerusalem, the Secretary met with Israel's President Simon Peres, dignitaries and diplomats, to discuss the ongoing threat from the Iranian nuclear program and the state of the progressing global change in Egypt. Also discussed were the hopes for a peaceful future for the troubled people of Syria.
In addressing the assembled statesmen, Secretary Clinton indicated she had come to Israel at a “moment of great change and transformation in the region." She called the moment a “time of uncertainty, but opportunity. ...a chance to advance our shared goals 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." "...It is in moments like these that friends like us have to think together, act together. We are called to be smart, creative, and courageous," she said.
Secretary Clinton will have a full schedule in Jerusalem, meeting separately with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as with President Peres. Gracious Peres praised Clinton for her work toward political transition in Syria, and in relation to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's attacks against the Syrian people. Peres said in reference to the Syrian barbarism, “It is beyond acceptable norms by humanity no matter if you are Christians, or Jews, or even Arabs. I appreciate the fact that the Arab League stood up against it clearly and loudly. It is unprecedented."
Secretary Clinton met earlier with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and last week in Paris with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israel's President Peres thanked the Obama administration for continuing to pursue an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. "We should not give up hope," he said. "We shouldn't stop. We should be consistent. We should be determined. The Palestinians don't have a better alternative. We don't have a better alternative."
Secretary Clinton came to Israel from Egypt where she held separate talks with President Mohamed Morsi and military chief Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, encouraging both to seek consensus in Egypt's post-revolutionary political transition. In her meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr in Cairo, on July 14, she took questions as to America’s role and position in working with the developing government in Egypt. A reporter there broached the question that statements by American officials and U.S. Intervention might have a negative impact on efforts to unite in consensus Egypt’s various parties.