Rice to Proceed, Cautiously, With Mideast Talks

Low expectations for weekend trip, with little concrete progress
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2007 5:10 PM CDT
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders this weekend in order to create a document of joint principles as a prerequisite to a peace conference expected later this month. For fear of killing the conference before it begins, the document will contain few hard-core specifics, instead focusing on a general push towards reconciliation, Reuters reports.

Analysts say the lowered expectations for Rice's third Mideast trip in six weeks are a nod to the failed 2000 Camp David talks, which fell apart over final status details. "This is something which is setting in motion what will be more detailed discussions," noted a former Clinton envoy to the Middle East.