July 16 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Hillary Clinton continues intense round of meetings in Jerusalem. The U.S. secretary of state is meeting with local officials holding working sessions with both Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI MINISTER OF DEFENSE EHUD BARAK, SAYING: "Your visit comes at an extremely interesting time and the whole Middle East is going through a major transition. And the United States' contribution to both peace and security in the region is as important as ever. Thank you very much and we are looking forward to have a good visit." Making her first trip to Israel in 22 months, and only her fourth visit as secretary of state, Clinton's meetings will focus on the political transition in Egypt. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON, SAYING: "Well, I am always pleased to have a chance to be here in Israel and yo continue the conversations you and I have carried out over many years now, when we were both much younger. But you are right, Ehud, we're at a time of such historic change, really unprecedented, and we have to work together to face the challenges and to hopefully seize some of the opportunities The downfall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year has raised questions among Israelis about whether Egypt, the first Arab nation to have made peace with Israel, will adhere to that treaty under his Islamist successor. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.