This is what passes as tough talk from Condi

A pool report from Agence France Presse for the Foreign Press Association in Israel reported this, after a meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning — this is what the U.S. apparently considers tough talk:

Rice “It is the position of the United States that the parties should not take steps that somehow would prejudice the final status outcome. In fact, the borders of a Palestinian state and Israel will be determined by agrement. I think that is no secret and I’ve said it [to] my israeli counterparts that i don’t think the settlement activity is helpful to the prrocess, that in fact what we need now are steps that enhance confidence between the parties and that anything that undermines confidence between the parties ought to be avoided and we will continue to press ahead to get agreement so that we know that is in Israel and what is Palestinian”.

Livni is either not in the know [this is not the most likely possibility] — or too disengenuous.

She said she has been told that Israeli settlement activity has dramatically diminished: “The peace proces is not to be affected by any kind of settlement activity… In the end of the day the role of the leaders is to try to find a way to live in peace in the future and not to let any kind of noises that relate to the situation on the ground these days to enter the negotiation room. I would like to suggest to my partners not to use it as an excuse and I know they are not using it as an excuse but I understand their frustration sometimes. But at the end of the day the Israeli government’s policy is not to expand settlements, not to build new settlements and not to confiscate Palestinian land. According to my knowledge settlement activity is reduced in the most dramatic way especially in the parts on the other side of the fence. There were some small activities but they will not influence the abilility (to negotiate) nor the future of the future borders of the Palestinian state”

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