Washington’s top diplomat is due to arrive in the Palestinian territories today as part of a five-day tour of the Middle East. The stated aim of the visit is both to “rally moderate forces and moderate voices” as well as garner international support for sanctions against Iran which is refusing to halt uranium enrichment.
During a stop-over in Egypt, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sought to shore up backing for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
She also reiterated her call for a two-state peace deal in the Middle East:
“Palestinians need a government that can represent the interests of the Palestinian people and that can be committed to their well-being and it needs a government that can engage the international community, and that will have to be a government, of course, in accordance with the broad consensus in the region, that a two-state solution is the answer to the desires of both the Palestinians and the Israelis.”
The Secretary of State is due to meet Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah today and also plans to see Israeli Prime minister Ehud Olmert on her trip.