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Rice in Mideast Ahead of Egypt Summit

  • VOA News

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in the Middle East to meet with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, before the two men hold their summit in Egypt later this week. Ms. Rice stressed the United States' commitment to bringing peace to the region. Ahead of her Sunday talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Ms. Rice urged Israel to take steps to promote the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Ms. Rice, who meets Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, says both sides must seize the current opportunity for peace. Also Sunday, Mr. Abbas' Fatah movement said it would agree to a mutual cease-fire with Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and stop attacks inside Israel. Mr. Abbas has been trying to convince Palestinian militant groups to stop attacks on Israelis before he meets with Mr. Sharon in Egypt this week.
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