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.
Another traitor to American Belief. You looked for the same as Obama, but lost your way. And your Dad was so pro-Israel.
You have lost your middle name.
Why would Israel listen to Clinton or anyone in the Obama administration for that matter? What have they done to help Israel since coming to office? The answer is nothing. In fact, their actions in engaging those lunatics in Iran in discussion only serve to hurt Israel's sovereignty. Clinton should put up or shut up.
Any chance of her apologizing to anyone she can find for something we may have done?
About time. It's not "settlement activity." It's blatantly taking another, poorer people's land, then getting your government to come shoot them and wall them up when they try to defend themselves.
I WAS a big Hillary supporter but he unabashed support of Hamas and the PLO is disgraceful.
Yeah Junior Secretary of State Hillary Clinton good luck getting the colonists to stop colonizing.
israel must stop being a terror nation..give back land that belongs to palestine.
Obama's administration is selling out Israel. I called this before the election., and Israelis know it by heart by now. Obama is no friend of Israel and will sell them out. He's already selling them out even now.
Israel needs to WAKE UP and realize – never has a "Hussein" ever been friendly to Israel or her people.
To the Jewish people of America who actually CARE about the State of Israel but still voted for Obama ..... I hope you're happy!!
Love the picture...
"Yes it is true... Michelle's head is actually this big!"
This was for a different topic but it was moderated out; just thought I'd try again.
Our laws came from Biblical teaching. Even marriage originated from the bible. It seems that some would think our laws should come from hell; I suppose we are turning in that direction. If you want to stray from Biblical teaching then why not go as far as some would like – perhaps marriage between a man and animal or whatever despicable fantasy man can come up with? Why not? Shouldn't we all have the right to choose? Some people think cold -blooded murder is alright. How about that? Who are you to tell them it's wrong? The Good Book was given to us to protect us from our own evil desires; the problem is, too many people just can't grasp that. Surprise me CNN and post this one, please.
Ummmmmm. Israel was attacked in 1967 and fought back their attackers and in the process took land to give them a buffer zone. By your ignorant comment and following your logic, California should be returned back to Mexico. Do yourself and everyone a favor and educate yourself instead of spewing out stupid bumper sticker slogans.
"Obama's administration is selling out Israel."
Even if this were true, so what? What does this country owe Israel. We have faithed the wrath of the Arabs for years for blind unquestioning support of Israel. Is Isreal our 51st state? Does the constitution say we have to support Israel?
It is about time we stopped subverting our own interests for those of the Likud Party in Israel. Seizing Palestinian land to give it to Jewish fanatics serves no American interest whatsoever. Enough is enough!
Didn't realize you were an anti-Semite as well as ignorant. Every single day the Hamas lobs rockets indiscrimantly into Israel. How is that self defense?
Israel's settlement activity must be STOPPED.
Go Hillary Go.
Israel is a country run by some evil Jewish administrators. And this is coming from a Catholic, not someone who is muslim. Isreal is corrupt, its politicians are more corrupt than ours, and they need to leave Palestian immediatly.
Increasing settlements does just as much damage to the peace process as the policies and behavior of Hamas!
For those of you who claim Israel is the victim and the Palestinians are monsters intent on seeing it's demise, I encourage you to visit the Occupied Territories (ever wonder WHY they're called "Occupied"??), and see for yourselves. You love Israel so much, you think (and some secretly want it sooner than later) that is where the beginning of the end will take place, so go there. And I will GUARANTEE YOU that you will come back stunned into silence by what you have seen.
Israel is no innocent victim. They are Nazi's hiding behind "Never Again" so they can do their dirty work.
If Israel is serious about peace with the Palestinians, they're going to have to give a little also. One way is to stop the settlements, which only serve to exacerbate the whole situation. Israel does NOT have a god-given right to the land. On the other hand, the Palestinians, and other Arab states have to acknowledge that Israel DOES exist as an independent country. You'd think these people would get a clue.....they don't get their way all the time....EITHER party.
Go Hillary, go away. We must always support Isreal.
What, what what? Am I believing what I'm seeing? After all these years are we finally going to help stop the monster we created. I'm not a pro-jewish person, nor am I an anti-jewish person, but we gave Israel land after WWII – we need to help resolve some of the problems we created.
There should be one state, a democracy, with full voting rights for the Palestinians as well as the Israelis.
And let the Palestinians vote 'em out of office.
Settlement issue over, roadlblocks gone.
Israel's settlement activity reminds us what Shakespeare wrote in his book "The Merchant of Venice" – Shylock wants a pound of flesh.
Yes Hillary, blast away at an American ally while turning a blind eye to North Korea.
CAN THIS ADMINISTRATION BE MORE INEPT?
Better to spend more time on N. Korea and less time on these "need to be the center of attention" Middle East babies. Something is up with N. Korea and it behooves Clinton, the CIA and whoever to get to the bottom of it – quickly.