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Clinton seeks support for Mideast peace

From Jill Dougherty, CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton poses with other leaders attending the Forum for the Future in Morocco on Tuesday.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton poses with other leaders attending the Forum for the Future in Morocco on Tuesday.
  • U.S. secretary of state makes appeal to regional forum
  • U.S. committed to two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Clinton says
  • Clinton asks Mideast nations to follow Obama's vision for peace

Marrakesh, Morocco (CNN) -- Speaking to the regional Forum for the Future, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged member nations to work toward Mideast peace.

Continuing an intensive trip to the region with several unscheduled stops, Clinton said the United States is committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is "determined and persistent in the pursuit of that goal."

"It is important that we all work toward that objective," she said, "and I think that does require that all parties should be careful about what we say, the kind of recriminations that are so understandable, but we need to work together in a constructive spirit toward this shared goal of a comprehensive peace."

Clinton, who during this trip has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said she believes "very strongly that it is attainable."

"I believe that President Obama's commitment is understood," she said, "and I believe that with your support we can find a way through the difficult and tangled history that too often prevents us from making progress on this most important issue."

"I would just ask you to think about how we can each demonstrate the commitment that is necessary for us to go forward. Now, we can maintain our allegiance to the past," she said, "but we cannot change the past; no matter what we say about it, it is behind us. Or we can work together and follow the vision and inspiration of President Obama to help shape a future that will be so much better for the children of Palestinian and Israeli families."

At the Forum, an initiative of the countries of the Broader Middle East and North Africa region (BMENA), the G8 countries, as well as civil society and private sector groups, Clinton outlined concrete steps the United States is taking to follow up on the "New Beginning" that Obama launched during his June 4 speech to Muslim world in Cairo.

Clinton focused on partnerships to promote civil society, entrepreneurship and economic development, educational opportunity, scientific and technological collaboration, women's empowerment, and interfaith cooperation.

The initiatives include convening an Entrepreneurship Summit in Washington in early 2010 to bring together innovators and leaders in Muslim communities around the world and America's business leaders to advance entrepreneurship and create economic opportunity.

At the summit Clinton met with the foreign ministers of several Gulf state nations individually, urging them to support the peace process and to take confidence building measures to lay the ground for both sides to return to negotiations.

From Morocco, Clinton flies to Cairo, Egypt for a meeting with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.