Rice Demands 'Memo of Understanding'

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wants Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to produce a "memorandum of understanding" before President George W. Bush's visit next week.

Rice made the demand before leaving Monday, saying that "the world doesn't believe" Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are progressing.

According to the secretary of state, reaching a final agreement on future borders was the "easiest" issue to resolve and should be included on the memorandum of understanding.

But neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority agreed with her demand.

According to PA officials, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Israeli negotiating team, led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, agreed in principle to cede 90 percent of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), but the PA rejected the proposal, demanding not less than 98 percent.

Israeli officials said the secretary of state gave the impression that she will pay any price to achieve the vision in which the US has invested so much political capital.

Rice expressed concern that the newest police investigation against Olmert may hinder his ability to move the process forward.

Source: Haaretz

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