The National
October 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Abu Dhabi will host a meeting between the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as part of a weekend effort to push both Palestinian and Israeli leaders to resume peace talks, a US official said today.

After her meetings in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, Mrs Clinton will travel to Israel to meet with the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She will be joined by the Obama administration’s special Middle East peace envoy, George Mitchell.

The time and place of the meeting with Mr Netanyahu were still being worked out early today, the official said. The official indicated that Mrs Clinton saw her weekend meetings as a necessary step in the peace process, which has been stalled, even though there is no immediate prospect of a breakthrough on the key areas of dispute.

In announcing yesterday that Mrs Clinton would hold the weekend talks, a State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said locations had not yet been set.

“Her visit reflects the administration’s commitment, and her personal commitment, to work through the challenges we face in pursuit of comprehensive Middle East peace,” Mr Crowley said in a statement.

Mrs Clinton reported last week to president Barack Obama that Mr Mitchell had made little progress. Mr Crowley noted that “challenges remain as we continue to work with both sides”. He said the talks would take place ahead of meetings Mrs Clinton has scheduled with Arab foreign ministers in Morocco early next week.

“The administration is committed to comprehensive peace, including a two-state solution,” Mr Crowley said.

Mrs Clinton is currently wrapping up a three-day visit to Pakistan.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017