Jerusalem, July 15 – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected in Jerusalem Sunday for talks with Israeli leaders following her meeting in Cairo to endorse democracy and peace with newly-elected Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
In Cairo, Clinton said she came “to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and for your democratic transition.”
Clinton called on the Palestinians to return to the peace talks with Israel, saying there was no alternative to direct negotiations.
“I’m in very close communication with [Palestinian] President Abbas. I met with him last Friday in Paris. Our goal is to help bring about the two-state solution. And we know that it can only happen if there is a negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and that can only happen if all Palestinians are committed to seeking a political resolution and renouncing violence.”
She referred to the split between Abbas’ Fatah party that controls the West Bank and the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist organization that seized power in Gaza from Fatah in a bloody 2007 coup. Hamas leaders reject the peace process and are committed to destroying Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state.
“Reconciliation is up to the Palestinians,” Clinton said. “But at the end of the day, the factions of the Palestinians themselves have to determine whether they are committed to a negotiation that will result in a state which they deserve and which the Palestinian people have every reason to expect, or whether there will be diversions and other actions that do not promote that.”
Clinton inferred that if Hamas joins a Palestinian unity government, the peace process might be ended by Hamas refusal to negotiate.
“It’s imperative there be a negotiated resolution. And I will continue to do everything I can to bring that about,” she said.