Clinton tells Abbas she will work toward ”durable peace” in the region
New US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised to work toward a "durable peace" in the Middle East in a first telephone call Thursday with the Palestinian president, a spokesman said. "She spoke of the need to support president Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to reach a durable and just peace as quickly as possible," spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.
"President Abbas reiterated his backing for the peace process and promised to make every effort to achieve peace," his spokesman said.
President Barack Obama spoke with Abbas on Wednesday and the Palestinians said it was the new US leader's first call to a foreign leader. "We consider that these two calls in 24 hours show the new administration's intent not lose time and the importance it gives to this issue," Abu Rudeina conveyed.
Meanwhile, UObama said on Thursday he would send newly-appointed Middle East envoy George Mitchell to the region "as soon as possible" in a bid to get lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. "It will be the policy of my administration to actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians as well as Israel and its Arab neighbors," Obama said, according to Reuters.
Obama also said the outline for a "durable ceasefire" was clear. "Hamas must end its rocket fire, Israel will complete the withdrawal of its forces from Gaza. The United States and our partners will support a credible anti-smuggling and interdiction regime so that Hamas cannot rearm".