Secretary of State George P. Shultz said Friday that the United States is prepared to "pursue any avenue"--including an international peace conference--to bring about direct peace negotiations between Arabs and Israelis.
In a luncheon toast to visiting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Shultz said he is open to new approaches for achieving a Middle East peace settlement, suggesting that old formulas are no longer workable.
"I believe we've come to a point where illusions about the past and old approaches to resolving new problems need to be tested against new realities," Shultz said at the State Department luncheon.
"We must find a way to take what's best from past experience and what's imaginative from the present and create a new blend of approaches to pursuing peace in the Middle East."
"We remain convinced that direct face-to-face negotiation is the best way to achieve results, and we will pursue any avenue to get to that point, including an international conference," Shultz said.