Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 at 9:48 am
Secretary Clinton in the Middle East
Yesterday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at a donor’s conference for Gaza recovery hosted by Egypt as part of her first trip as Secretary to the Middle East. This early trip, as well as the appointment of George Mitchell as Special Envoy, indicate a deep commitment from the Obama Administration to engagement in finding a long-term peace. But her speech went beyond simply showing up and shaking hands, as she explained clearly to all at the conference and around the world that to achieve the goal of a peaceful, responsible Palestinian state, all parties have an important role to play and change to make:
For the Israelis, that means showing the Palestinians that there are benefits to negotiating if their goal is to control their own destiny and live in peace and dignity in an economically viable state.
For the Arab states, it means signaling through words and deeds that the spirit of the Arab Peace Initiative can begin to govern attitudes toward Israel now. For all of us – the Arab states and the wider international community – it means working with the government of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Authority, to help build a state that can meet international expectations and obligations.
And for the Palestinians, it means that it is time to break the cycle of rejection and resistance, to cut the strings pulled by those who exploit the suffering of innocent people, and show the world what the talent and skills of an exceptional people can build and create.
Watch the video here. The State Department has also launched an interactive map to log and detail the Secretary’s travel, which one can imagine quickly becoming an amazing historical document of sorts. While you’re over there, also check out the new "Text the Secretary" feature.