Flying home from a two-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was confident the two sides were trying hard to resolve their six-decade conflict.
Following the visit by Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met to try to accelerate peace talks, which Olmert's office said had a "very good chance" of producing results by year-end.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called the talks "very serious", while Olmert's spokesman, Mark Regev, described them as "quite possibly the most serious talks an Israeli side has ever had with the Palestinian side".
An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "significant progress" had been made on setting the borders of a future Palestinian state, but he reported no movement on either the fate of Jerusalem or Palestinian refugees.
A Palestinian official involved in the talks responded by saying: "There has been no progress."
The meeting was overshadowed by a new criminal investigation into Olmert's affairs that has some Israeli commentators questioning his political future.
Rice spent much of her fourth trip to the region this year discussing steps to dismantle some of the hundreds of checkpoints, manned road blocks and other barriers Israel has erected across the West Bank to prevent violence.
Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2008, 11:21