Video: NBC: Obama to nominate Clinton for State

updated 11/21/2008 1:45:39 PM ET 2008-11-21T18:45:39

The European Union's foreign policy chief said Friday he expects President-elect Barack Obama to move quickly to deal with top trans-Atlantic goals, including Middle East peace, negotiations with Iran and slowing global warming.

Javier Solana also said the appointment of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state would be well received in Europe, especially because her husband, former President Bill Clinton, remains popular on the continent.

"She is a very capable person, whose experience is well known," he told reporters in Washington. "The name Clinton is well taken."

Clinton has not been nominated for the Cabinet post, but an Obama adviser told the AP on Friday that Obama intends to do so after Thanksgiving.

Solana said he is confident Obama will not neglect foreign policy while working to shore up a U.S. economy beset by a financial crisis. Even that problem requires international coordination to fix global finance, he emphasized.

"You cannot let international priorities slide, even though the financial crisis is going to take a good amount of energy," he said.

Solana, who spoke with Vice President-elect Joe Biden by phone this week, said he hopes Obama will make Middle East peace and negotiations for a new global climate control treaty early priorities.

On talks for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, Solana said he expected the new administration to continue the approach launched by incumbent President George W. Bush in Annapolis, Md., last year.

He said Hillary Clinton would have the advantage of good will won by her husband in Middle East peace talks late in his presidency.

On climate policy, Solana hoped for a quick break from that of the Bush administration. He said he wants Obama immediately to take up negotiations for U.S. participation in new international measures to limit carbon emissions and stem global warming. European countries want to complete a treaty to set new global emission standards by the end of next year.

"I think they will be very fast," he said, speaking about the Obama administration's presumed environmental policy. "I don't expect to be disappointed."

Solana said the Obama administration also would have to focus on negotiations with Iran to end its nuclear enrichment program. A report this week by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran had produced about 1,400 pounds of low-enriched uranium worried Solana, who said negotiations had become more urgent. He expected the new administration to support the current international approach of offering Iran incentives to stop enriching uranium, while pursuing sanctions.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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