Rice Calls for Palestinian State

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2007 2:20 PM CDT
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, listens to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, second from right, during a joint media conference at Abbas' headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – It is time for the establishment of a Palestinian state, Condoleezza Rice said today in Ramallah. A two-state solution is "absolutely essential for the future, not just of Palestinians and Israelis but also for the Middle East and indeed to American interests," she said after meeting with Mahmoud Abbas ahead of next month's peace conference.

Preparation for the conference has hit a deadlock over whether a joint declaration of principles needs to be agreed to before the two parties meet in Annapolis, Md. Rice nonetheless praised Israel and the Palestinians for their "most serious effort" in recent years towards reconciliation.