Clinton meets with Israeli leaders on Iran, Syria, Egypt and peace process

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she and Israeli President Shimon Peres spoke about “Egypt and Syria, peace efforts, Iran and other regional and global issues” during their meeting in Jerusalem.

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Clinton arrived in Israel Monday for a day of meetings with Israeli leaders.

She met with Peres Monday morning, following a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. She is also scheduled to meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad on Monday afternoon and evening before holding a news conference Monday night. 

She will return to the United States Tuesday, capping a 12-day, nine-country trip. It is her first visit to Israel in two years and possibly her last as Secretary of State.

Clinton said this point in history is “a time of uncertainty but also of a big opportunity in the region. At times like these friends like us need to work together in a smart, creative and courageous way.”

Clinton’s meetings Monday are expected to center around the issue of Iran, as well as Syria, Egypt and the peace process. 

Clinton is not the only U.S. official visiting Israel and the region. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem next week for talks on Iran’s nuclear program, and the situation in Syria.

The U.S. National Security Council announced Sunday that National Security Advisor Tom Donilon visited Israel on July 14 and July 15 for consultations with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, and National Security Advisor Gen. Yaakov Amidror.

“In these meetings, the National Security Advisor reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. His visit was the latest in a series of ongoing U.S. consultations with Israeli officials on a range of regional security issues,” read a statement from NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor delivered to reporters on Sunday evening. 

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