Rice Warns Against Moves That Would Obstruct Resumption of Talks

U.S. national security adviser stresses that Palestinian government must abide by principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel and honoring agreements.

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U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.Credit: AFP

The United States expects that both Israel and the Palestinians will manage the current "pause" in the peace talks "in a way that reduces tensions and preserves space to pursue a two-state solution when both sides are prepared to take the decisions necessary to resume substantive negotiations," U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said yesterday after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Rice passed the same message to the Israeli officials with whom she met, according to a statement released by the White House.

Rice also stressed what she said were "the principles that must guide a Palestinian government in order for it to play a constructive role in achieving peace and building an independent Palestinian state."

Those principles were an unambiguous and explicit commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties.

The background to her expression of principles was the recent reconciliation between Abbas' Fatah and Hamas and the intention of both sides to establish a national unity government.

Despite the halt in the talks, Rice emphasized that the U.S. continues to believe that the only way to achieve lasting peace is through direct negotiations that lead to two viable, independent states living side-by-side in peace and security.

Rice thanked Abbas for his leadership, his "longstanding commitment" to the principles that she had enunciated and his public statements that any government that is formed will be his government and represent his policies.

Prior to her meeting with Abbas, Rice underscored America's support for young Palestinians working for a more prosperous and hopeful future, during a meeting with Palestinian youth at an event hosted by the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.

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