Jerusalem: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held a rare joint meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders today but achieved little concrete progress in reviving the peace process other than a pledge for further talks.
Rice said all sides agreed and affirmed their commitment to a two-state solution during the first three-way summit of its kind in nearly four years, but warned that peace would not come through terror, in a clear reference to dominant Palestinian party Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas had agreed to meet again soon, Rice said, adding that she also planned to return to the region to pursue peace efforts.
“All three of us affirmed our commitment to a two-state solution, agreed that a Palestinian state cannot be born of violence and terror, and reiterated our acceptance of previous agreements and oligations, including the roadmap,” she said after the meeting.
Within minutes of her statement, military sources said an Israeli truck driver had been stabbed and killed in a Palstinian village in the occupied West Bank, west of Abbas’s political powerbase of Ramallah.“The president and prime Minister ageed that they would meet together again soon,” Rice said after more than two and a half hous of talks in a luxury Jerusalem hotel.“They reiterated their desire for American participation and leadership in facilitating efforts to overcome obstacles, rally regional and international support and move forward toward peace,” she added.