US President Barack Obama has signalled smart diplomacy as his administration’s top foreign policy priority.
Earlier, he named two envoys for the key diplomatic hotspots in the Middle East and Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Obama also pledged to actively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Just as the terror of rocket fire aimed at innocent Israelis is intolerable, so, too, is a future without hope for the Palestinians. I was deeply concerned by the loss of Palestinian and Israeli life in recent days. Now, we must extend a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace,’‘ declared Obama.
In a swipe at the previous administration, newly confirmed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was time to use smart power.
“The president is committed to making diplomacy and development the partners in our foreign policy along with defence. We must be smarter about how we exercise our power,’‘ she said.
Yesterday Obama signed three executive orders, one of which sees the closure of the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
With Obama seeking to repair America’s tarnished image abroad, the order sets a one year deadline to shut down the jail and also bans the use of torture against terror suspects.