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