Tue, March 03, 2009
World > Middle East

Clinton pledges support for any Israeli government

2009-03-03 09:41:09 GMT2009-03-03 17:41:09 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) and visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hold a joint press conference in Jerusalem March 3, 2009. Clinton said on Tuesday that the U.S. administration will stand by any Israeli government that comes out of the ongoing cabinet-making process. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) kisses visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a joint press conference in Jerusalem March 3, 2009. Clinton said on Tuesday that the U.S. administration will stand by any Israeli government that comes out of the ongoing cabinet-making process. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) poses with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a joint press conference in Jerusalem March 3, 2009. Clinton said on Tuesday that the U.S. administration will stand by any Israeli government that comes out of the ongoing cabinet-making process. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

JERUSALEM, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said that the U.S. administration will stand by any Israeli government that comes out of the ongoing cabinet-making process.

She made the pledge during a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in the morning, when she also stressed that the U.S. government is determined to push forward the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and realize a two-state solution.

"The government that will be formed in Israel will be committed to the peace process and to prior agreements," responded Peres, who tasked ten days ago right-wing leader Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government.

Netanyahu recently stressed his intention to advance the peace process, but stopped short of committing himself to the two-state guideline. He also said the he would allow Jewish settlements in the West Bank to expand.

The former prime minister insisted in the past that peace efforts should be concentrated on developing the Palestinian economy, a stance that has been rejected outright by the Palestinians and is likely to put him on a collision course with the United States, Israel's staunch ally.

The top U.S. diplomat will meet with Netanyahu later in the day. Local daily The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli officials as saying that both would likely be in a "listening mode" and that no "fireworks" around either the two-state issue or construction in the settlements are expected.

Clinton is also scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday, before she goes to the West Bank on Wednesday for meetings with Palestinian officials.

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