Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to hold regular meetings, the US Secretary of State Condolezza Rice has said. These meetings will initially focus on security issues – and in a press conference following the talks, Rice praised both men’s eagerness to foster peace.
“We will join responsible leaders like president Abbas who are eager to make progress towards peace and the establishment of a Palestinian State. So Prime Minister Olmert, President Abbas and I, have met for discussion and agreed on new actions to accelerate that progress. President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert have agreed that they plan to meet together bi-weekly.”
The formation of a Palestinian state is in accordance with the US’s ‘road map’ for the region – but Rice acknowledged that initial discussions were to simply build confidence between the parties.