Mideast Talks End, and Rice Is Terse on Outlook

Three way talks between the United States, Israel and Palestinian leaders has ended with little sign of reviving the stalled peace negotiations.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In a 90-second statement following the two-hour meeting, Rice said both leaders "reiterated their acceptance of previous agreements and obligations." But there was little more information, besides a vague reference to future meetings.

Rice told reporters that all three parties said they were committed to a two-state solution to the conflict. Still, the talks were overshadowed by American and Israeli disappointment with a new power sharing agreement between rival Palestinian factions.

Secretary Rice had downplayed expectations for the meeting, calling the talks "informal discussions." Both Abbas and Olmert have been hobbled by internal political strife and declining popularity among their constituents.



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