Peace hopes in Palestine

RAMALLAH - US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice met Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas yesterday to try to bridge his differences with Israel on what a US-led Middle East peace conference might achieve.

RAMALLAH - US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice met Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas yesterday to try to bridge his differences with Israel on what a US-led Middle East peace conference might achieve.

Rice has found growing interest in "intensifying the dialogue" after her talks on Wednesday with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.

Rice said she saw "a spirit and a desire to move towards peace" among Israelis and Palestinians, but there were "many obstacles to overcome".

The planned international gathering is expected to convene in mid-November or early December in Washington.

Rice said the internal Palestinian conflict should not jeopardise plans to found a single state in the West Bank and Gaza. - Reuters

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