There has been a warm welcome for Condoleezza Rice from King Abdullah of Jordan. On her week long tour of the region, the US Secretary of State says she has heard loud and clear the call for deeper American engagement in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Rice is rallying support for President Bush’s new strategy on Iraq. Arab leaders say the two are mutually dependant.
Although not offering a specific plan on how to revive the “Road Map to Peace”, Rice believes a solution can be found if all parties show creativity and determination. But yesterday’s meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not bode well. Her proposal to create a Palestinian state with temporary borders was roundly rejected.
President Abbas said: “We have noted the Secretary of State’s commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state but that the transitional solution of temporary borders was not a realistic choice that could be built upon.”
Abbas says his Fatah party’s priority is to set up a national unity government but admitted that talks with Hamas are unlikely to take place soon. Condoleezza Rice’s next meeting is with the Israeli prime minister.