Secretary of State Says: ‘No Stone Unturned’ in Effort for Mideast Peace

October 16, 2008 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

condoleezza-rice-4.jpgPresident Bush and
Secretary Rice launched the latest effort to boost peace talks between
Israelis and Palestinians nearly a year ago at a conference in
Annapolis, Maryland.


On Tuesday, Secretary Rice
told a U.S. conference on investment in the Palestinian Territories
that since then, the parties have engaged in sustained, substantive
negotiations to achieve a two-state solution to their conflict.


She
said, “We must do everything that we can with the negotiating partners
to get to the Annapolis solution and that would be to find an agreement
between these parties by the end of the year. It is very difficult.
There is a hard road ahead. But if we do not try, we certainly will not
succeed.”


The
gathering of U.S. business leaders, sponsored by the Chamber of
Commerce, was a follow-up to a conference held in May in Bethlehem
where investors pledged to pump more than $1 billion into the
Palestinian economy.


Rice
noted in her speech that she and President Bush leave office in January
and vowed to continue her efforts to make progress toward peace. “Until
that moment when I leave office, I will leave no stone unturned to see
if we can finally resolve this conflict between peoples.”


Secretary
Rice has made numerous trips to the Middle East, but negotiators have
made little public progress. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have
expressed doubt they can achieve an agreement by the end of the year.


Rice
said the Palestinians and Israelis need to redouble their efforts for
peace. “The Palestinian Authority has to continue to dismantle the
infrastructure of terrorism and to promote an atmosphere of tolerance.
Israel must also halt settlement activity, which can be seen as
prejudging the outcome of negotiations and undermining its negotiating
partner.”


Rice
also urged the Israelis to make more progress in reducing roadblocks
and other impediments to Palestinian movement to allow businessmen and
workers to operate in an environment in which Palestinian people and
their economy can thrive.


Major
issues in the conflict continue to be the borders of a future
Palestinian state, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of
Jerusalem.

Source: VOA News

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Entry filed under: Second Coming Watch/World. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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