Clinton to meet Abbas in Abu Dhabi
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to the Persian Gulf city of Abu Dhabi to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as part of a weekend effort to push both Palestinian and Israeli leaders to resume peace talks, a U.S. official said Friday, AP reported.
After her meetings in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on Saturday, Clinton will travel to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She will be joined by the Obama administration's special Mideast peace envoy, George Mitchell.
The time and place of the meeting with Netanyahu were still being worked out early Friday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss planning.
The official indicated that Clinton saw her weekend meetings as a necessary step in the peace process, which has been stalled, even though there is no immediate prospect of a breakthrough on the key areas of dispute.
In announcing on Thursday that Clinton would hold the weekend talks, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said locations had not yet been set.
"Her visit reflects the administration's commitment - and her personal commitment - to work through the challenges we face in pursuit of comprehensive Middle East peace," Crowley said in a statement.
Clinton reported last week to President Barack Obama that Mitchell had made little progress. Crowley noted that "challenges remain as we continue to work with both sides."
He said the talks would take place ahead of meetings Clinton has scheduled with Arab foreign ministers in Morocco early next week.
"The administration is committed to comprehensive peace, including a two-state solution," Crowley said.
Clinton was wrapping up on Friday a three-day visit to Pakistan.