Rice to return to Middle East in early November
www.chinaview.cn 2007-10-18 21:14:25   Print

    RAMALLAH, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will come back to the Palestinian territories and Israel in the beginning of November, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday.

    Rice had just ended a four-day visit to the region and held several meetings with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, seeking to bridge gaps over a U.S.-hosted peace conference slated for November.

    Erekat told a news conference in this West Bank city that the U.S. National Security advisor Stephen Hadley will also come to the region next week, during which he will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Oct. 25.

    The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been working hard to gain international support for the peace process, Erekat said, adding that Abbas will embark on a worldwide tour in the day, starting from Indonesia and Malaysia.

    Regarding the upcoming peace conference, Erekat said no one has yet received the invitation to the assembly. Before the gathering, the Palestinians hope to agree with Israel on a joint document which outlines timetable mechanism for negotiations to resolve those final-status issues, Erekat said.

    "The final-status negotiations should be bound by timetables and we hope these timetables don't exceed the end of U.S. President (George W.) Bush's term," Erekat added.

    So-called final-status negotiations were referred to those thorniest issues regarding the lasting Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which include control over Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees and borders of the future Palestinian state.

    On July 16, U.S. President George W. Bush proposed to hold the international conference this fall, which would include Israel, the Palestinians and some neighboring Arab states, to help resume the stalled Middle East peace talks.

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Editor: Bi Mingxin
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