Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Palestinian Presidential Compound
September 16, 2010

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PRESIDENT ABBAS: (Via interpreter) I warmly welcome Secretary Clinton to Ramallah today and I would like to express my appreciation for the efforts she is exerting, and also President Obama is exerting the American Administration in order to achieve peace in the region. I know that these are difficult times, circumstances are difficult, but unwavering American commitments and the tireless efforts give us hope that we will reach peace. We all know that there is no alternative to peace other than negotiating peace, so we have no alternative but to continue peace efforts.

I would like to introduce Secretary Clinton (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for not only receiving me here again in Ramallah with such warmth among now friends, but for your leadership and your commitment to peace for the Palestinian people. And as President Abbas said, the United States and all of us, led by President Obama, are very committed and determined to work toward a peace agreement through direct negotiations that leads to an independent, sovereign, viable Palestinian state that realizes the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Thank you, Mr. President.

PARTICIPANT: (Inaudible) handshake, Madam Secretary?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh. (Laughter.) Just like you were saying that you’d seen previous footage of Senator Mitchell in Damascus.


SECRETARY CLINTON: They could just bring out one of the hundreds of pictures of you and I shaking hands. (Laughter.)

Thank you.

PRN: 2010/T33-5