(JERUSALEM) — How much more could Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have had on her plate when she held talks with leaders in Israel on Monday?
Besides trying to reaffirm the strong partnership between the U.S. and Israel that has gotten shakier during the Obama administration, Clinton spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about his nation’s sputtering peace process with the Palestinians, the nuclear threat posed by Iran, the ongoing conflict in Syria and the challenges facing Egypt’s new leader and government.
Still, Clinton, in what could be her final visit to Israel as America’s top envoy, acknowledged, “We’re living in a time of unprecedented change, a lot of challenges for us both. And we will continue to consult closely…to chart the best way forward for peace and stability for Israel, the United States, the region and the world.”
Besides her meeting with Netanyahu, Clinton also held discussions with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and President Shimon Peres, and with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Peres said following his meeting with Clinton that Israel and Egypt must abide by their 1979 peace treaty despite the change in governance while also condemning the 16 months of violence in Syria that could destabilize the region if the two sides escalate hostilities.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chandrika Narayan and Steve Almasy, CNN
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN