Rice nudges Abbas, Olmert on final status

Condoleezza Rice encouraged the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to discuss final-status issues at their meeting this week.

The U.S. secretary of state called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before they met Tuesday at Olmert’s residence in Jerusalem to prepare for a U.S.-brokered regional meeting in the fall that would consolidate peace gains. Rice will chair that meeting.

“These were opportunities for her to talk with the prime minister and the president about their upcoming meeting, to also encourage them to move forward and to make progress not only in dealing with some of the day-to-day issues that are out there but again with issues that are on the political horizon,” State Department spokesman Tom Casey said, using the term that describes U.S. hopes for a two-state solution. “It’s important that we do see progress made between the parties as we head towards a meeting later this fall with a variety of international players involved.”

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