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Clinton: Obama to reveal peace plan soon
By Reuters Published:
Ynet / Israel News
13 Apr 2011
The United States plans a new push to promote comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday, suggesting a stronger US hand in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
President Barack Obama will lay out US policy toward the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks, Clinton told Arab and US policy makers in a speech that placed particular emphasis on Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Obama`s launch of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks last year went nowhere and he is under pressure to make a new initiative or face the prospect of the Palestinians seeking the UN General Assembly`s blessing for a Palestinian state.
`The president will be speaking in greater detail about America`s policy in the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks,` Clinton said at the US-Islamic World Forum, a gathering sponsored by Qatar and the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
`America`s core interests and values have not changed, including our commitment to promote human rights, resolve long-standing conflicts, counter Iran`s threats and defeat al-Qaeda and its extremist allies,` she added. `This includes renewed pursuit of comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.`
Clinton spoke against the backdrop of the popular revolts that have toppled long-time authoritarian leaders in Tunisia and Egypt this year and spurred public protests in much of the Arab world, including Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.
`The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months,` she said, 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.
`US will have hard time standing alone in UN`
On Tuesday night Israeli officials estimated that efforts to prevent UN support of a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood would prove futile ahead of a September vote on the matter.
An Israeli official said: `Obama wants a Palestinian state and although the US is not interested in a unilateral declaration, it would be hard for it to stand alone in the General Assembly and vote against it.`
In fact, many state officials believe Israel has failed on the UN front. `The fact that the Americans stopped the Quartet`s plan only proves how deeply we depend on them,` one official said. `But this hold-up will not change matters in the General Assembly and this is a trend we cannot change.`
According to officials, efforts to form an Israeli peace plan will be set into motion in the coming weeks, however it does not appear Netanyahu has any prepared document. He is reviewing various plans and proposals by political elements including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and MK Shaul Mofaz.
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