Rice, Arab foreign ministers to hold talks in Egypt

1111.jpgU.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet Arab foreign ministers in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh at the end of July, Egypt’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.“This will be to hold discussions on the regional situation, the Palestinian issue, the American President’s statement yesterday … and the Arab peace initiative,” a ministry statement quoted Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit as saying.

The talks would follow a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on July 29, the statement said.

President George W. Bush on Monday called for a Middle East peace conference later this year and pledged renewed support for the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Aiming to break years of stalemate, Bush called for a meeting between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and their neighbours. He did not say where it would take place.

Rice had been scheduled to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories this week. The trip was postponed, and instead Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit unspecified Middle East countries late this month or early in August.

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