Last week's parliamentary elections in Israel open new avenues for Middle East peace and the United States will pursue potential opportunities, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.
"I actually think that this election opens doors, not nails them shut," she told an assembly in Washington that was broadcast worldwide.
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She noted that the result of the January 22 vote had shown that "a significant percentage of the Israeli electorate had expressed the need to take a different path, both on the domestic scene and vis-à-vis the peace process in the Middle East. "
Clinton recaps term (Photo: AFP)
The outgoing secretary of state also remarked that "Hamas is not interested in democracy, in political participation, but instead is still a largely a military resistance group and we've made it very clear that if Hamas renounces violence, if they morph themselves into a political entity the way that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority have, there's a place for them at the table, and it would be my great hope that they would do that."
Also Tuesday, Kerry won the support of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to replace Clinton as President Obama's new secretary of state.
The full Senate is expected to confirm Kerry later on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Jordanian newspaper Alghad reported that assistant secretary-general of the Arab League for Palestine affairs Mohamed Sabih said that an Arab delegation will be arriving in Washington sometime in the near future, in an attempt to ignite the peace process between Israelis and Palestinian.
Sabih added that the delegation intends to present the US administration with ideas regarding Israel's retreat from the territories and the founding of a Palestinian state.
Reuters, AFP and Roi Kais contributed to this report
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