Rice insists peace attainable, despite deadline miss

Faced with the failure of Israelis and Palestinians to meet an end of year deadline for a peace deal, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice nonetheless insisted Friday that a final settlement of the dispute between the sides was attainable, reported dpa.

President George W Bush's vision of a Palestinian state living alongside Israel "will not come in a single dramatic moment, but it will come," she told a news conference in Ramallah.

Summing up the progress of the peace talks so far, Rice - who arrived in the region Thursday ahead of a Sunday meeting in Sharm el- Sheikh, Egypt - said the year-long Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations had managed to close the gaps between the sides, even if there was no peace agreement yet.

"The distance to peace has narrowed, but peace has not been achieved," she said.

She said the US would continue to play a role in the peace process even during the transition periods in Washington, as President Bush prepares to hand over to president-elect Barack Obama, and in Israel, where Prime Minister Ehud Olmert heads an interim government as the country heads to new elections early next year.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seized on her remarks to urge Obama to get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as soon as possible.

"We hope that the new administration will begin immediately tackling the Middle East issue so we would not waste time," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who called Obama on Thursday night to congratulate him on his election victory, also discussed with the president-elect the need to continue the peace process.

Abbas and Olmert pledged at the Annapolis peace summit one year ago to try and conclude a peace deal by the end of 2008.

But the talks, formally relaunched around the turn of the year, and held amid a virtual media blackout, have been bogged down, in no small part due to a lingering dispute over whether Jerusalem, a key deal-breaker, should be included in a treaty now, as the Palestinians want, or left to be resolved later, as the Israelis prefer.

Rice, en route to Tel Aviv Thursday, admitted the upcoming elections in Israel early next year were a "constraint on the ability of any government" to reach a peace deal, and White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the deadline was unlikely to be reached.

Sunday's briefing in Sharm el-Sheikh will be attended by the "Quartet" of international peace sponsors, who will hear Israeli and Palestinian negotiators tell them what has been achieved in the talks since they were launched amid much fanfare at last year's high- profile summit.

According to the Israeli Ha'aretz daily, the Israelis and Palestinians will announce at the briefing that they are committed to continuing their negotiations even after Obama takes office on January 20.

It was unclear whether the Quartet - consisting of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union - would release a document outlining the progress achieved in the talks so far, and detailing what still needs to be settled.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Thursday that the Israelis were not counting on the briefing ending with any kind of joint document summing up the state of the talks.

Kazakhstan to reduce flights on int'l routes to battle COVID-19 spreading
Kazakhstan to reduce flights on int'l routes to battle COVID-19 spreading
Passenger cars manufacturing volume surges in Kazakhstan
Passenger cars manufacturing volume surges in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan's revenue from passenger transport by road down sharply
Kazakhstan's revenue from passenger transport by road down sharply
Loading Bars
President Ilham Aliyev: Armenia demonstrated disrespect for mediators and its own commitments
President Ilham Aliyev: All the activities of Armenia's new leadership are aimed at disrupting the negotiations
EU says had 'intense and constructive' meeting with UK on withdrawal pact
U.S. and Brazil must reduce dependence on China imports, Pompeo says
Another armored vehicle of Armenian armed forces destroyed (VIDEO)
Argentina’s coronavirus case tally exceeds 1 mln
Israel reports 1,767 new COVID-19 cases, 304,876 in total
Intel nears deal to sell NAND unit to South Korea's SK Hynix
NASA mission to collect sample of asteroid Bennu
U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 220,000 -- Johns Hopkins University
UN Security Council discusses verification of Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire
Turkey reports 2,026 new COVID-19 cases, 349,519 in total
Magnitude 7.5 quake strikes off Alaska's Aleutians: USGS
New U.S. COVID-19 cases rise 13% last week to nearly 400,000
Trump: U.S. to remove Sudan from state terrorism sponsors list after payment to victims
Belgium says COVID-19 situation serious as infections reach new highs, bars close
OPEC+ countries agree to honor commitments in full scope
Military trophies captured by Azerbaijani army in Jabrail and Fuzuli direction (VIDEO)
President of Italy-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce sends letter to Azerbaijani President, First Lady
Azerbaijani, French FMs hold phone conversation
Azerbaijani FM holds phone coversation with President of International Turkic Academy
Our losses sadden me most of all, what pleases me most of all is unbreakable will of Azerbaijani people - President Aliyev
Soros groups played big role in organizing coup in Armenia and Pashinyan always took an anti-Russian position - President Aliyev
Armenia wants to turn Tartar into Stalingrad, into the second Aghdam, Fuzuli, says Azerbaijani president
Turkey is already de facto at the negotiating table, says Azerbaijani president
Vast majority of villages around Fuzuli are with us, says Azerbaijani president
Now we see Fuzuli in front of us, says Azerbaijani president
After this ceasefire, Armenia tried to occupy settlement of Hadrut again and attacked it three times - President Aliyev
184 countries and economies have joined COVAX: WHO chief
Not single issue in region can be resolved without participation and consent of Turkey, says Azerbaijani president
We receive only moral and political support from Turkey, Pakistan and other fraternal countries - President Aliyev
There are people with Canadian and Lebanese passports among those who were killed on Armenian side, says Azerbaijani president
Armenian military equipment worth $1 billion destroyed with help of Turkish drones alone - President Aliyev
I have always tried to be true to my father's path, says Azerbaijani president
Liberation of Shusha occupies a special place among our goals - President Aliyev
Vast majority of villages around Fuzuli are with us - President Aliyev
Weapons are being smuggled to Armenia across Georgian and Russian territories, says Azerbaijani president
Armenia needed ceasefire in order to gather strength, take mobilization measures and launch new attacks on us, says Azerbaijani president
Dastardly attacks on civilians yet another manifestation of Armenian fascism - President Aliyev
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 20
Iran ready to provide details of January plane crash to Ukraine
UK records another 18,804 new coronavirus cases with 80 deaths
Azerbaijan fully ensures safety of oil and gas projects of international importance
Azerbaijan to send note to German Foreign Ministry due to Bundestag members's visit to Karabakh
Launch of industry, mining projects to open new job spots in Iran
Armenian PM admits defeat and ready for talks with Azerbaijan on Karabakh
Appeal to be sent to relevant structures due to Armenia’s attacks on civilian population of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan created conditions for Armenian war prisoners to contact their families
Colliers International: apartment buy/sell deals increasein Tbilisi
Georgia's Batumi sees decrease in real estate transactions
Turkish Trade Ministry says carpet exports to Russia rise
Supplies of Turkish carpets to Italy on decline
Azerbaijani armed forces adequately respond to Armenian side’s provocations
Update given on civilian casualties from Armenian shelling of Azerbaijan's Aghdam
Council of Europe Development Bank talks about projects implemented in Georgia
Dutch manufacturer of equipment for poultry farming eyes to enter Uzbek market
China's exports of flat-rolled products of non-alloy steel to Georgia down
Tesla to export China-made Model 3 vehicles to Europe
Demand for Turkish-made carpets in Kazakhstan up
Kazakhstan to reduce flights on int'l routes to battle COVID-19 spreading
Armenian armed forces shelling Azerbaijani settlements
Turkey records contraction in carpet export to Iran
IMF says economy of oil-exporting countries in Caucasus, Central Asia to decline
Export of Turkmen fabrics from synthetic complex yarns to EAEU increased
Russia hopes on quickly agreed mechanism for monitoring ceasefire in Karabakh - FM
This struggle is Azerbaijan’s just struggle - Speaker of Turkey's Grand National Assembly
Iran joins global program to pre-purchase Coronavirus vaccine
National Bank of Georgia sells funds at another foreign exchange auction
Georgia increases export of apples
Turkmengas re-opens tender for provision of laboratory testing services
Import of Turkish carpets by Israel drops marginally
Kazakhstan increases imports from Uzbekistan amid COVID-19
Azerbaijan must not leave Karabakh conflict to future generations - assistant to president
Azerbaijani army seizes more military equipment of Armenian armed forces on battlefield (PHOTO)
AzTV channel crew undergo fire from Armenian troops in Azerbaijan's Aghdam (VIDEO)
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling
USAID raises awareness of fruits and vegetables export from Central Asia
E5P, EBRD support Georgian transport sector
Qatar Airways expects to keep A380s parked for years
Georgian hazelnuts exports up as of October 18
Video instructions issued for foreign visitors crossing Azerbaijan's border
Iran declares value of mobile phone imports
Geostat reveals volume of Russian export to Georgia
Significantly lower prices needed to force OPEC+ cuts
Ten most COVID-impacted countries to cumulatively lose almost $700 billion in real GDP
Armenia grossly violates all laws – Azerbaijani major general
Armenia tries to mislead world community and evade responsibility - Israeli expert
Georgia reveals export statistics of major goods to Russia
Uzbekneftegaz to buy compressor via tender
Iran reveals its trade turnover with Arab countries
Armenia engaged in illegal economic activity in occupied Azerbaijani lands, top official says
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office gives updates on civil casualties, damages
Azerbaijan's banking system has stabilized - MP
BP expresses support for Azerbaijani people in struggle for territorial integrity
It is impossible to find other countries elsewhere in world that would be so close to each other as Turkey and Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
Very good news comes from front every day - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan doesn't target Armenian civilians - assistant to Azerbaijani president
Armenia carrying out acts of terrorism against Azerbaijani civilians at state level - Assistant to president
France lowers import of Turkish-made carpets
Georgian domestic exports down
All news