Rice tells Palestinian interviewer Palestinian state unlikely before end of Bush presidency

Washington is concerned about Israeli repair work at the Moghrabi Gate in Jerusalem, said the US secretary of state, and would prefer it to be coordinated.
Expectations are low of the three-cornered US-Israel-Palestinian talks which opened in Jerusalem Monday overcoming the impasse.
The US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice had hoped that the meeting she led between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert Monday, Feb. 19, would be a step toward the Middle East peace track. But the impasse remained.
Abbas has entrusted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh with forming a new Palestinian government, despite that Palestinian group’s refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence. He acted in line with the Mecca Accords for ending Palestinian internecine Fatah-Hamas violence, which made no demands of Hamas. Rice told reporters diplomatically that any new Palestinian government must meet international conditions but the US was committed to working with Abbas and would wait until a new government is formed and deal with it on the basis of whether or not it meets the Quartet principles.
She suggested that Washington could deal with him separately from the new government.
debkafile adds: As long as the Hamas-dominated Palestinian administration refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist, the Israeli and US governments are committed to the Western boycott and freeze on aid. At the same time, Palestinian leaders are unlikely to relent because they have a Saudi guarantee to step in and provide them with $1bn per annum to substitute for withheld Western assistance. Hence the dispute which has frustrated the Rice mission.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email