JERUSALEM - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised Tuesday to work with the incoming Israeli government, but delivered a clear message that could put her at odds with the country's next leader: Movement toward the establishment of a Palestinian state is "inescapable."
At the same time, Clinton said she would not dictate orders to Israel, saying the Jewish state would determine its interests. She also pledged "unrelenting" support for Israel's security.
Clinton also said the U.S. would soon send two envoys to Syria for "preliminary conversations." It was the most significant sign yet that the Obama administration is ready to mend relations with the Damascus regime. The U.S. withdrew its ambassador in 2005, accusing Syria of supporting terrorism.
"We have no way to predict what the future with our relations concerning Syria might be," she told a Jerusalem news conference.
Clinton arrived in Jerusalem Monday evening and pledged $900 million in U.S. aid at an international donors conference for rebuilding the Gaza Strip after Israel's recent offensive against its Hamas rulers.