WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the eve of President Obama's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the Obama administration wants a complete halt to settlement activity by Israel, which she argued would help Washington's Mideast peace efforts.
"We think it is in the best interest of the effort that we are engaged in that settlement expansion cease," she said following a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit.
Clinton spoke hours before having dinner with Abbas, who will meet with President Obama at the White House Thursday.
Last week President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, where he pressed him to commit to the creation of a Palestinian state and halt settlement activity to create a better atmosphere for peace talks.
Netanyahu has committed to removing illegal settlement "outposts," but has pledged to continue expansion, or "natural growth"of existing settlements.
"The president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here, he wants to see a stop to settlements," Clinton said. "Not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions. That is our position that is what we have communicated very clearly not only to the Israeli's but to the Palestinians and others, and we intend to press that point."
During her meeting with her Egytpian counterpart, Clinton reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, calling Egypt and integral partner in the Obama administration's mideast peace efforts.
The body language between Clinton and Aboul Gheit was much more relaxed than with her predecessor Condoleezza Rice, with whom the minister had a tense relationship.
The Bush administration alienated Egypt by making human rights and democracy in the Middle East a cornerstone of it's foreign policy.
Aboul Gheit, who wrapped up two days of meetings in Washington, said the Obama administration is "very different from the Bush administration"and less "rhetorical" in its approach to dealing with Cairo.
"They are disucssing issues but they also listen, and that is very important to listen and understand where you come from and understand the reason," he said.
President Obama is traveling to Cairo next week, where he will give a major address to the Arab and Muslim world.
"We are full of expetations for the presdient's visit," Aboul Gheit said.
Isn't it funny how BO and Hillary spend so much time and effort, let alone our money, waging war against the Bush adminstration when they should be dealing with N Korea and Iran. I'm afraid they're clueless....... and we keep drifting closer to the "brink".
@Democrats are American Al Quaeda.
You miss several key points. Most importantly, land according to UN resolutions, which I might add Israel AGREED upon, is the Palestinians. Hence, Israel is violating international law!
To be honest, you are the one whose rantings resemble the NAZIs. "Democrats are American Al Quaeda" is a sure sign that you are (i) a zealot, (ii) intellectually inferior (check you spelling and grammer), and (iii) easily misled in foreign politcs.
Don't forget that the NAZI's were right-wing nationalists. Kinda like the GOP!
When Israel does bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities, I wonder if they will give notice of their actions to Obama and Hillary before, or after the raid?
I've given up on the Israelis, who don't seem to want peace and don't realize that the land they call theirs was the soveriegn nation of Palestine before it was handed over by other nations who did not own it, contrary to the will of the Palestinians. Can you say "chutzpah"?
Give the Israelis the "Southern" confederate states...
...the animals down there are running amok...
...and need to be put back in their pens...
And I call a halt to all US aid, military and economic, to Israel. They've stirring up trouble and hiding behind the US for sixty years. American blind support for Israeli thuggery is the principle reason for all the hatred leveled at us from Islamic countries since 1948.
As "allies," Israel does more damage to American interests than they would if they were enemies.
The American Taxpayer's give Israel way to much funding to allow them to do as they will with the American Taxpayer's money. It's time we call the elected officals on the mat and tell them enough is enough, no more cooperation no more funding end of story no more talk. I am An American who has watch this mess no as long as I can remember on the news and we have given the elected officials of Israel enough slack in the American Taxpayer's dime. Enough is enough! We and the United Nation's gave you that land and that's all you get stay within what you have been given !
Oh partisan bickering. The FACT is that the two-state solution, and calls for the halt to Israeli settlements have been the official, unchanging policy of the United States since the 60s! Even Dubya and Condi specifically promoted the two-state solution and the halt to the illegal settlements. Sure, they've been tougher on Hamas too, and that's good, but the current policy is EXACTLY THE SAME as it was for the past several decades!
Uh, Palestine was invaded and occupied in 1948 and the people to whom the country belongs driven out. Apparently you think this was reasonable and that the Palestinians should just shut up and quietly let themselves be screwed.
The official US policy has been the same since 1967, as it voted along the unanimous UN Security Council Resolution 242 (look it up!) and reaffirmed it with Resolution 338. The current Clinton proposal is not her own wacky idea, but the same policy that even Dubya has been promoting for the past eight years! It's the same policy! Check your facts people! The US government ALWAYS promoted the two-state solution and the removal of illegal Israeli settlements, whether it's under Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, or Clinton!
@Tom L "So please do tell me ONE concession that the Palestinians have given. Name one. Just one thing."
Uh, their entire country? The place that used to be called Palestine? Why do you think it used to be called that?
"Wake up and recognize who truly hates and wants to eliminate the United States…"
No, you wake up! The US was complicit in the theft of Palestine from the Palestinians. Is there any wonder the Islamic world hates us?
Where was the proofreader for this article? There are so many incorrect spellings and even a case of two sentences bridged together without punctuation or capitalization. This is embarrassing for such a fine news source.
Israel gave up huge areas of land to Egypt and Jordan in order to make peace with those two countries. It worked. To date there have been no hostilities from either Egypt or Jordan. Why not make a little extra effort and stop settlements on the West Bank?
For many years Israel's actions towards the arabs have done nothing for us except tarnish us in the eyes of the arab world as complicit in Israels heavy handed tactics. It is about time that someone held Israel accountable for the uncontrolled development. If Israel wants out continued support it is about time that they do something positive to help us out.
In my opinion the Israel-US relationship has been mostly a one-way street with all of the benefits going to Israel.
why is israel angry with the nazis,they are doing the same to the palestinians.the gettos are the same ,and the airattakes against the westbank left the people just as dead ,just like in the conzentration camps,first the nazis did it now the jews do ,when are they going to get punished,k
Who did she call Ghost Busters???? What a waste of words!
Israel sold itself out