Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rice to tell Livni: Bolster Siniora, Abbas


"Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is arriving today in the United States, where she will meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, and apparently also with Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Rice will tell Livni at their meeting tonight (Israel time) that Israel must help bolster the standing of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel made clear to the Americans ahead of this visit that negotiations with Syria are not on the agenda for now. An official familiar with the preparatory talks said that Israeli and American positions on this subject had grown closer following the war in Lebanon.

Rice and Livni will try to coordinate a response to the formation of a Palestinian national unity government. Both countries do not consider this development sufficient reason to alter the prerequisites for talks with the PA. Israel will update the U.S. on potential gestures toward Abbas, among them the possibility of handing over responsibility for West Bank towns to the presidential force under his command."

No comments: