JERUSALEM – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday said she would return soon to the Middle East to push forward with attempts to restart peace making.
Rice spoke after more than two hours of talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"The president and prime minister agreed that they would meet together again soon. They reiterated their desire for American participation and leadership to overcome obstacles, rally regional and international support and move forward toward peace. In that vein, I expect to return to the region soon," Rice said.
"All three of us affirmed our commitment to a two-state solution, agreed that a Palestinian state cannot be born of violence and terror and reiterated our acceptance of previous commitments and obligations including the road map."
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The road map is an internationally backed peace plan calling for an independent state alongside Israel.
Despite such commitments, Rice reported no progress in restarting talks, which broke down more than six years ago. Neither Abbas nor Olmert joined Rice as she delivered her brief statement, and she exited the room without taking questions.
The summit had been billed as an attempt to breath new life into peace efforts, but the talks were overshadowed by Abbas' agreement to form a Palestinian unity government with the Hamas militant group.
Israel, the U.S. and other Western countries have said the new government must renounce violence, recognize Israel's right to exist and accept past peace deals.
Hamas, which is committed to Israel's destruction, has agreed only to "respect" past peace agreements, falling short of the international demands.
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