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Hillary defends remarks praising Israel

After Pakistan and Israel, Clinton meets Arab foreign ministers in Marrakesh.


U.S. State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said Clinton plans to continue pushing both sides back to the table during her visit to Morocco, where she is attending the Forum for the Future, a democracy and development conference attended by representatives from G8 countries and foreign ministers from across the Arab world.

"Everybody should keep their eyes on the goal here of a comprehensive peace, and to get there we have to get the two sides to the point where they can sit down and have meaningful negotiations," Kelly said. "We’re going to vigorously pursue this goal using all kinds of opportunities to do so."

Morocco is the final stop on something of a charm offensive Clinton launched across the Muslim world starting Wednesday in Pakistan. Clinton spent three days there, meeting with political leaders, journalists and members of the public.

Hours after she arrived, a car bomb exploded in Peshawar market, killing some 100 people. State Department officials objected to claims the blast was meant to disrupt her visit.

“We stand with those in Pakistan who are fighting this fight,” Kelly said. “I would not draw too much out of the fact that there was a bomb on the day that she arrived. There have been bombs, unfortunately, going off pretty consistently. It’s just an indication of the seriousness of this common challenge we have.”

Later in her visit, Clinton reportedly angered Pakistani authorities with some pointed remarks during a roundtable meeting with newspaper editors in Lahore, suggesting that Pakistan had failed to do all it could to flush Al Qaeda from safe havens along the Afghan border.

“I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are, and couldn’t get to them if they really wanted to,” she said.

After an audience and joint appearance with King Mohammed VI in the Moroccan town of Ouarzazate Monday, Clinton was set to meet with several Arab foreign ministers in Marrakesh, including Saudi minister Saud al-Faisal. She was then slated to address the press alongside Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri Monday evening.