Rice Pushes Peace Talks With Olmert, Abbas

Takes mission to Jerusalem, West Bank
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 1, 2007 1:12 PM CDT
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, right meets with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007. Al-Faisal indicated that his country could attend a Middle...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Condoleezza Rice took her diplomatic tour to Jerusalem and the West Bank today, hoping to rekindle peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian government of Mahmoud Abbas. Rice comes bearing a promise from Saudi Arabia to support the peace conference proposed by the White House for later this year, Reuters reports.

The US wants to push Israeli PM Ehud Olmert to discuss Palestinian statehood, including core issues like borders and Palestinian refugees. Olmert says he's open to talks, but he's skeptical that Abbas, further weakened by the recent Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, is too weak to negotiate meaningfully.