Israel and the Palestinians won’t likely reach a peace agreement by the 2009 deadline set at the Annapolis negotiations a year ago, the White House said today. The Bush administration began to question the feasibility of the deadline when a corruption scandal ousted PM Ehud Olmert and set the stage for a new leader to be chosen in February, AP reports.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in the Middle East to secure what progress has been made in negotiations for Barack Obama’s administration. “The Annapolis process has laid groundwork” for establishing a Palestinian state, Rice said. “I think that whatever happens by the end of the year, you've got a firm foundation for quickly moving this forward to conclusion.”