Condoleezza Rice arrives in Israel

Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State, has arrived in Israel for the first stop on her tour of the Middle East just before the peace conference organized by the White House for November.

On the agenda of the American secretary of state there is a one-to-one dinner with Israeli premier Ehud Olmert and meetings in Ramallah with Palestinian president Abu Mazen and premier Salam Fayyad. To journalists, she said that she hoped the November conference would bring about "serious and substantial" results, reports Agenzia Giornalistica Italia.

On Thursday, Rice will travel to the West Bank city of Ramallah for meetings with the Palestinian leadership.

According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Rice, during her trip, may present an American draft for a possible Israeli-Palestinian deal ahead of a Mideast peace conference slated for November.

The daily quoted the U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack as saying on Monday that "she (Rice) wants to see what she can do to move that process forward ... all of this is in an effort to lay the foundations for a successful international meeting."

The U.S. is pushing Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach an agreement before the November conference, but there is still dispute between the two sides over what kind of document should be presented at the conference.

The current dispute has focused on whether the two sides will reach a detailed framework agreement on sensitive final-status issues as the Palestinians want, or merely a general declaration of principles as the Israeli Prime Minister has phrased it, reports Xinhua.

Source: Agencies

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