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Clinton's Israel visit to feature Iran, peace talks


08:26, July 16, 2012

JERUSALEM, July 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Israel late Sunday for a series of high- level meetings focusing on Iran, Egypt, Syria and the stalled peace process.

Iran's nuclear program, and its presumed clandestine weaponization goals, according to many in the West, will likely highlight Clinton's talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

However, some political analysts in Israel and the United States have speculated that Clinton's first visit to Israel since September 2010 is also aiming at boosting U.S. President Barack Obama's slipping prestige among undecided American Jewish voters.

Pollsters have reported Republican inroads among American Jews, focusing on expressed concerns that Obama and his advisors are gradually distancing U.S. policy from traditional perceived support for Israel.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to visit Israel later this month, in a bid analysts see as trying to show that he is more committed to Israel than the Obama administration.

On Saturday, Clinton met in Cairo with Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, and called on him to meet with Netanyahu, but added that the two sides must initiate such a meeting.

At a press conference with Morsi, Clinton urged him to back a " full transition" to civilian rule, a process that she said " requires dialogue and compromise, real politics."

"We now are doing all we can to support the democratically elected government and to help make it a success in delivering results for the people of Egypt," she said.


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