Condoleeza Rice to return to region this weekend

The U.S. State Department announced that “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to Israel and Jordan on March 28-31, 2008. She will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to support their ongoing bilateral dialogue and the serious effort underway to achieve agreement this year on the establishment of a Palestinian state, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. The Secretary will also discuss efforts to improve conditions on the ground and to advance Palestinian economic development and capacity building. Additionally, she will meet with King Abdullah to discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, the political situation in Lebanon, stability in Iraq, and other regional developments”.

At a State Department briefing with journalists on 25 March, spokesman Sean McCormack said: “She’s going to be traveling to Jerusalem. She’s going to be traveling to Amman. I think she’s going to be having some of her meetings with Palestinian officials actually in Amman. They are going to be transiting there. I’ll try to clarify for you whether or not there will be any travel to the West Bank”.

The Jerusalem Post has reported that Rice is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Saturday night.

Haaretz reported that ” ‘Rice will meet Abbas in Amman on March 30 after the Arab summit in Damascus ends. She will then travel to Israel for talks with Olmert and return to Amman for further talks with President Abbas’, a senior Abbas oficial said”. The full Haaretz article can be found here .

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