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Washington - President Obama Sends Clinton To Mideast To Try To End Conflict

Published on: November 20, 2012 08:11 AM
By: Reuters
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US President Barack Obama (L) and Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton (R) board the Air Force One as they leave Yangon International Airport after a one-day landmark visit to Myanmar, Yangon, Myanmar, 19 November / EPA/LYNN BO BO US President Barack Obama (L) and Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton (R) board the Air Force One as they leave Yangon International Airport after a one-day landmark visit to Myanmar, Yangon, Myanmar, 19 November / EPA/LYNN BO BO

Washington - U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East for urgent talks with Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders in his most decisive move yet to try to halt the Gaza crisis.

Clinton left an Asian summit in Cambodia’s capital, which she was attending with Obama, and headed for Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first round of a new U.S. diplomatic initiative.

“We want to ... send a clear message that it’s in nobody’s interest to see an escalation of the military conflict,” U.S. deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters in Phnom Penh.

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Clinton’s mission appeared to signal growing U.S. alarm over the prospects of a threatened Israeli ground invasion of Gaza as Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes continued for a seventh day.

Washington has seemed powerless to affect unfolding events and has faced criticism of a hesitant response, and the Gaza crisis has dogged Obama on an Asia trip meant to show a “pivot” East as the United States winds down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rhodes said the onus remained on Hamas to halt its rocket barrages into Israel and stuck to the administration’s stance that Israel had a right to defend itself.

But he said, “We all agree that the best way to resolve this is through diplomacy, so that you have a peaceful settlement that ends that rocket fire and allows for a broader calm in the region.”

Clinton was due to meet Netanyahu on Wednesday and then go to Ramallah in the West Bank to meet with Palestinian Authority leaders, presumably President Mahmoud Abbas.

She was then to travel to Cairo, where Rhodes would say only that she would meet “Egyptian leaders.”

That would likely mean an encounter with Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, who has spoken by phone several times with Obama since the Gaza crisis erupted and is seen as a possible linchpin in getting Hamas to back down.

“Secretary Clinton will emphasize the United States’ interest in a peaceful outcome that protects and enhances Israel’s security and regional stability, an outcome that can lead to improved conditions for the civilian residents of Gaza, and that could re-open the path to fulfill the aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis for two states living side by side in peace and security,” Rhodes said.

Asked whether Obama was specifically asking Netanyahu to hold off on any ground assault to give more time for diplomacy, Rhodes said: “No. The president has been very clear that Israel is going to make decisions on its security.”

Obama, weighing in with his first comments on the crisis on Sunday, said t would be “preferable” to avoid an Israeli ground invasion but urged Egypt and Turkey to do more to rein in Hamas, which Washington considers a terrorist group.

Obama promised to make Israeli-Palestinian peace diplomacy a high priority when he took office in 2009, but his administration’s on-again-off-again efforts have done little if anything to bring the two sides any closer to the negotiating table.


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1

 Nov 20, 2012 at 08:23 AM Upset Says:

The problem that has allowed the troubles in the Middle East to continue for so many decades is the endless flawed diplomacy. The diplomats have saved the Abrabs time and time again. This gives them the audacity to continue attacking Israel because they know that the dimplomats will save them. If the dimplomats would allow Israel to finish the job and not bail out the Arabs every time they make trouble for Israel they would not even start up with Israel. They know that Israel would annihilate them.The diplomats are no different that the Arab terrorists. They have much Jewish blood on their hands. Diplomats are Arab terrorists in fancy suits.

2

 Nov 20, 2012 at 09:07 AM DRE53 Says:

Reply to #1  
Upset Says:

The problem that has allowed the troubles in the Middle East to continue for so many decades is the endless flawed diplomacy. The diplomats have saved the Abrabs time and time again. This gives them the audacity to continue attacking Israel because they know that the dimplomats will save them. If the dimplomats would allow Israel to finish the job and not bail out the Arabs every time they make trouble for Israel they would not even start up with Israel. They know that Israel would annihilate them.The diplomats are no different that the Arab terrorists. They have much Jewish blood on their hands. Diplomats are Arab terrorists in fancy suits.

Please explain what you mean by "let israel finish the job".
The only way to "finish the job" is by killing ALL Gaza civilians, which, of course, is not an option.
As long as there are palistinians living in Gaza, there'll always be some amongst them who'll terorize Israel.
So what do you mean by "finish the job"?

3

 Nov 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM TexasJew Says:

#2- What don't you understand, "FINISH THE JOB".

4

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