Syria, Saudis to be Invited to Peace Table

Rice hopes Mideast talks will include Arab neighbors
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2007 6:02 AM CDT
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, front, third from left, also known as Abu Mazen, inspects the honor guards during an inauguration ceremony at the Palestinian Security Sciences Academy in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US will issue invitations to this fall's Mideast peace conference to Saudi Arabia, Syria and other Arab nations that don't have diplomatic ties to Israel, the Washington Post reports. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested Sunday that attendance would bring with it "certain responsibilities" such as avoiding violence and recognizing the existence of both Palestine and Israel.

Rice, just back from a trip to the Mideast to push plans for the summit President Bush announced over the summer, spoke after meetings at the UN with other members of the Quartet—the US, the UN, Russia, and the EU—coordinating Mideast peace efforts, and before a dinner, attended by both the Syrians and the Saudis, to discuss the conference further.