U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Israel and the Palestinians intend to resume peace talks that were suspended after an Israeli offensive in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Rice made her remarks at a joint news conference today, Wednesday in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. She gave no time frame for a resumption of the talks.
Rice also said a cease-fire in Gaza is not a condition for restarting the talks.
She spoke as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement he intends to resume negotiations, backing off from an earlier demand that a cease-fire be in place first.
Mr. Abbas suspended peace talks with Israel on Sunday to protest an offensive in Gaza that killed more than 120 Palestinian militants and civilians.