Clinton to issue statement on Israeli-Palestinian talks

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States will issue a declaration this week on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

"I will be making a very formal set of remarks about that next week," Clinton said in a interview over the weekend with Al Hurra, the U.S.-run Arab language broadcaster. "We have been talking with both parties very substantively, and I think that the United States can play a role to help each make decisions about very difficult matters that then can be presented to the other side."

Clinton would not elaborate, but with talks at an impasse, a number of analysts in recent weeks have predicted that the Obama administration would declare the parameters of a final status agreement and pressure the sides to reach such an outcome.

In a speech Friday evening in Manama, Bahrain, at an event sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Clinton suggested that she would elaborate on the statements at next week’s Saban Center forum in Washington, D.C.

Clinton also directly addressed the Iranian delegation, which also was attending the Mana event, inviting it to expand a dialogue on engagement after this week’s meeting in Geneva between Iran and the major powers.

The meeting, which will include representatives from Russia, China, the United States, Germany, Britain and France, will address efforts to get Iran to stand down from its suspected nuclear weapons program.

"We hope that out of this meeting, entered into with good faith, we will see a constructive engagement with respect to your nuclear program," she said. "Nearly two years ago, President Obama extended your government a sincere offer of dialogue. We are still committed to this offer.

"But the position of the international community is clear: You have the right to a peaceful nuclear program, but with that right comes a reasonable responsibility that you follow the treaty you signed and fully address the world’s concern about your nuclear activities. We urge you to make that choice — for your people, your interests and our shared security."
 

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