Condoleezza Rice to meet Quraya

US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice will meet Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya in Berlin in mid-May in what will be the highest level US contact with Quraya.

    US national security adviser will meet Palestinian premier in May

    A US official, who asked not to be identified, said the meeting could take place as early as 17 May. 

    Rice departs next weekend on a trip that will take her to Berlin and Moscow to meet her foreign policy counterparts. In Berlin she is also expected to meet officials from other European nations. 

    Under pressure from Jordan's King Abd Allah, US President George Bush reached out on Thursday to the Palestinians and distanced himself from earlier assurances to Israel that it
    could keep some of the Arab land captured in the 1967 Middle
    East war. 

    'Expanding dialogue'

    Bush told the king in writing that the United States will not prejudice the outcome of final negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. 

    Bush said he would soon send a separate letter to Quraya that "will explain my views, and we will expand dialogue between the United States and Palestinians." 

    The US official said Rice's purpose for meeting Quraya would be to reiterate what Bush has already articulated and try to bring the Palestinians along "as a partner in this process." 

    Bush delighted Israelis and enraged Palestinians last month when he gave Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon letters saying Israel could not be expected to give up all its settlements or accept the return of Palestinian refugees.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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