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Hillary Clinton: New U.S. administration to forge Mideast peace

Source: Xinhua | 01-14-2009 07:48

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton told lawmakers here on Tuesday that the Obama administration would spare no effort to promote to forge Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on her nomination to be Secretary of State in the U.S. President-elect Barack Obama administration, on the Capitol Hill, Washington,D.C., on Jan, 13, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee hearing on her nomination to be
Secretary of State in the U.S. President-elect Barack
Obama administration, on the Capitol Hill, Washington,
D.C., on Jan, 13, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yan)

"The president-elect and I understand and are deeply sympathetic to Israel's desire to defend itself under the current conditions, and to be free of shelling by Hamas rockets," Clinton said in prepared written testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

"However, we have also been reminded of the tragic humanitarian costs of conflict in the Middle East and pained by the suffering of Palestinian and Israeli civilians. We will exert every effort to support the work of Israelis and Palestinians who seek that result."

"We cannot give up on peace," the wife of former President Bill Clinton said at her confirmation hearing for top U.S. diplomat, noting that the future U.S. government will try "to seek a just and lasting peace agreement that brings real security to Israel; normal and positive relations with its neighbors; and independence, economic progress, and security to the Palestinians in their own state."

On Iran, Clinton said that the incoming Obama administration will pursue "a new, perhaps a different approach" toward the Islamic Republic. But the wife of former president Bill Clinton insisted that the United states must effectively challenge Iran to stop its nuclear weapons program.

"It is going to be United States policy to pursue diplomacy, with all of its (tools), to do everything we can to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state. As I also said, no option is off the table."