WASHINGTON â€” Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton signaled on Tuesday that the United States would try to increase its diplomatic contacts with Iran and Syria, and she declared that the vision of Israelis and Palestinians co-existing in peace and prosperity must not be abandoned.
Despite the â€œseemingly intractable problemsâ€ in the Middle East, â€œwe cannot give up on peace,â€ Senator Clinton said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is considering whether to confirm her selection as President-elect Barack Obamaâ€™s top diplomat.
Mrs. Clinton said America must recognize Israelâ€™s right to defend itself from Hamas rockets but cannot ignore the suffering of Palestinians citizens, as well as Israelis. â€œReal security for Israel, normal and positive relations with its neighborsâ€ as well as genuine security for Palestinians must continue to be Americaâ€™s ideal, she said.
The 61-year-old senator, who was warmly received notwithstanding pointed remarks from the committeeâ€™s leading Republican about her husbandâ€™s fund-raising activities, acknowledged that lasting peace in the Middle East, and the idea of Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side, are dreams that have been elusive.
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