WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says agreeing on a two-state solution by Israel and the Palestinians is critical to peace in the Middle East.
Clinton, speaking to the pro-Palestinian group the American Task Force on Palestine in Washington, also said Arab countries should provide more financial support to the Palestinian Authority. Her comments were made Wednesday in Washington and reported by the State Department.
"Now, when it comes to the conflict in the Middle East, it is all too easy for positions to harden into dogma, for tempers to flare, for rhetoric to outpace reality," Clinton said. "But you have provided a welcome voice of reason and a steady advocacy on behalf of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East."
Clinton also praised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his efforts to bring peace to the region.
"It is difficult to think of anyone who has worked harder or longer to realize the dreams of the Palestinian people than President Mahmoud Abbas," Clinton said.
Clinton said a two-state solution would give Palestinians the freedom to travel, do business and govern themselves.
"Palestinians would have the right to chart their own destinies at last," Clinton said. "The indignity of occupation would end and a new era of opportunity, promise, and justice would begin."
Clinton said the two-state arrangement isn't a panacea, but would go a long way in establishing a lasting peace in the region.
"We have not given up (on peace), and neither have President Abbas or Prime Minister Netanyahu," Clinton said.