Report: Clinton urges new Israel govt to seek peace
Published Friday 11/05/2012 (updated) 12/05/2012 14:41
US-sponsored talks have failed to make progress.
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned Israel's premier Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and urged him to use his new coalition to advance peace, Israeli media reported.
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office published a "laconic" statement about the conversation, which said merely that Clinton congratulated Netanyahu on setting up the unity government, Haaretz reported.
But the daily quoted a senior State Department official saying Clinton told Netanyahu she welcomed a clause in the coalition agreement which pledged to "advance a responsible peace process."
She also said the US was ready to support both sides in supporting a two-state solution, Haaretz said.
A second source said Clinton wanted to know when the Israeli prime minister intended to reply to a letter from President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the report.
Abbas last month sent his chief negotiator and intelligence chief to deliver a letter from the president to Netanyahu laying out Palestinian grievances over the failure of talks.
A day after Clinton's call, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riyad al-Malki told Ma'an that Abbas expected to receive a response to the letter in the coming days.
However, he said Netanyahu's decision to legalize three settler outposts two days after receiving the letter from Abbas may have amounted to a "contradictory response."
"The response contradicts with Palestinian efforts to resume negotiations," he said.