By Sr. State Department Producer Elise Labott
Concerned the storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo by protestors could escalate tensions in the Middle East, the United States has engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity.
In addition to President Barack Obama's call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaking to Egyptian Field Marshall Mohamed Tantawi, State Department Spokesman Victoria Nuland said that Secretary Clinton spoke twice to Egyptian Foreign Minister Amir over the weekend to express those concerns.
"Her message was we need to get the situation under control; you have obligations under the Vienna Convention; please do what you can to protect Israeli citizens, and this is dangerous not only in your relationship with Israel but in terms of implications for the region as a whole," Nuland said.
The US is concerned that the tensions between Israel and Egypt could flame anti-Israeli sentiment in the region in advance of the opening of the UN General Assembly next week, where the Palestinians are expected to launch a controversial bid for statehood.
In addition, Assistant Secretary Feltman also reached out to a "broad cross-section" of officials in the region to urge calm and stress the importance of peace between Egypt and Israel "to the region as a whole as we move into a very complicated period heading towards the meetings in New York next week," Nuland said.
A senior State Department official said that Feltman spoke with the Secretary General of the GCC, Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa, Qatari Pm Hamad bin Lassim; Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Saudi Ambassador to US Adel al-Jubair and officials in Kuwait and Egyptian foreign ministries.
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