CAIRO, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The United States is committed to reviving Middle East peace talks and opposed to Israeli settlement construction, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
"President Obama, special envoy (George) Mitchell -- who is here with me today -- and I are all deeply and personally committed to achieving a two-state solution and comprehensive peace between Israelis,
Palestinians and all of their Arab neighbors," Clinton said Wednesday in Cairo during a news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit.
Clinton irked Palestinian leaders Saturday when, during a stop in Jerusalem, she praised Israel for steps to limit, but not end, construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. On Wednesday, Clinton said U.S. policy about the settlement issue hasn't changed, CNN reported.
"I want to say that again: Our policy on settlement activity has not changed," she said. "We do not accept the legitimacy of settlement activity. And we have a very firm belief that ending all activity -- current and future -- would be preferable, and that is what we have put forth, and that is what we have continued to support."
Clinton said Egypt was a key player in the peace process and that improving the U.S. image in the region was vital to peace negotiations, CNN reported.
"It is important to recognize that after a period of time in which the United States' position was rejected or was certainly questioned, what we are doing is very carefully and consistently rebuilding those bonds,
creating those partnerships, finding common ground so we and our international partners will be able to make progress," she said.