President Shimon Peres on Thursday sent a parting letter to the outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, thanking her for her friendship and support for Israel during her tenure.
“The people of Israel will join me in thanking you for your unflagging friendship and support, and for significantly contributing to strengthening the special ties of friendship and cooperation” between Israel and the US, Peres wrote.
Peres also commended Clinton’s “remarkable statesmanship,” saying she carried her responsibilities “with distinctive grace, wisdom and dedication.” She tackled challenging issues worldwide, and in the Middle East in particular, “with an enlightened approach and sensitivity.”
The US Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Barack Obama’s choice of five-term Sen. John Kerry to be Clinton’s successor.
Speaking to university students in Beirut via a virtual Global Town Hall interview Tuesday, Clinton said the result of last week’s Israeli parliamentary elections “opens doors” for the pursuit of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
“I actually think that this election opens doors, not nails them shut,” Clinton said. Significant successes by center-left parties like Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid demonstrated, she said, that “a significant percentage of the Israeli electorate chose to express themselves by saying, you know, we need a different path than the one we have been pursuing internally and with respect to the Middle East peace process.”
“So I know that President Obama and my successor, soon-to-be secretary of state John Kerry, will pursue this, will look for every possible opening,” she said.