"President Abbas and Secretary Clinton met for half an hour in Ramallah today. President Abbas was joined by Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erakat, and spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh. The secretary was joined by Consul General Michael Ratney, special envoy David Hale and Vice Admiral Harry Harris. The conversation focused on the situation in Gaza and the effort to de-escalate.
"The secretary expressed appreciation for President Abbas' leadership in encouraging the restoration of calm and his role in maintaining security throughout the area, including in the West Bank. She also underscored her heartfelt concern for innocent lives lost both Palestinians and Israelis and for all those who have been wounded or are living in fear and danger.
"The secretary indicated that we were working to support ongoing efforts to defuse the crisis, especially Egyptian-Israeli conversations, and noted that she would be visiting Cairo later in the day.
"She reviewed her recent conversations with Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a number of her ministerial counterparts as well as the president's phone calls to the Egyptian and Israeli leadership.
"President Abbas expressed appreciation for U.S. efforts.
"The secretary also reiterated the U.S. position opposing the Palestinian initiative to seek observer state status at the U.N. General Assembly, and our view that the best way to achieve statehood is through direct, bilateral negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians."
(7:39 a.m. ET, 2:39 p.m. local) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Cairo, Egypt
Clinton touched down in Cairo shortly after 7 a.m. ET and issued the following statement after a bus bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel.
"The United States strongly condemns this terrorist attack and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the people of Israel. As I arrive in Cairo, I am closely monitoring reports from Tel Aviv, and we will stay in close contact with Prime Minister Netanyahu's team. The United States stands ready to provide any assistance that Israel requires. "
(7:27 a.m. ET, 2:27 p.m. local) White House statement on the Tel Aviv bus attack
From the White House press secretary:
"The United States condemns today's terrorist attack on a bus in Tel Aviv. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those injured, and with the people of Israel. These attacks against innocent Israeli civilians are outrageous. The United States will stand with our Israeli allies, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack. The United States reaffirms our unshakeable commitment to Israel's security and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people."