Arab states must reach out to Israel: Condoleezza Rice
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday that Israeli and Palestinian leaders had agreed to meet every two weeks and urged Arab nations to reach out to Israel.
"The Arab states must reach out to Israel... to show Israel that they accept its place in the Middle East," she told a press conference in Jerusalem as she wrapped up a regional tour aimed at advancing Middle East peace efforts.
Rice also announced that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas have agreed to meet every two weeks, but said it was not yet time for final status negotiations which would tackle the thorniest issues dividing the two sides.
Olmert and Abbas "have agreed that they plan to meet together biweekly," Rice said, but added: "We're not yet at the... (stage) of final status" negotiations.
Five more people were killed in Gaza on Sunday evening, the enclave's health ministry said, amid reports a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants may be imminent. "Thirty-six martyrs, among them 11 children and four women, and 311 injured," the health ministry said, raising the death toll in the Palestinian enclave from 31 since fighting began on Friday.
China said Sunday it carried out its fourth consecutive day of military drills in the air and sea around Taiwan in the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island, despite international calls to calm the tensions. The People's Liberation Army said the exercises focused on testing its long-range air and ground strikes. It did not say if it will continue the drills after Sunday.
After months of negotiations, the US Senate looks poised to pass Joe Biden's grand climate and health care plan, channeling billions toward ambitious clean energy goals in a hard-won victory for the president ahead of midterm elections. "I think it's going to pass," the Democratic president, who recently recovered from a second bout of Covid-19, told journalists Sunday morning in a brief appearance on the White House lawn.
China's People's Liberation Army on Sunday carried out “island saturation attack drills” and “bomber deterrence flights” as it concluded an unprecedented four-day military drill around self-governed Taiwan, launched in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island last week. The Taiwan-focused drills, which took place in six zones around the island, encircling it, began Thursday though advance drills had begun earlier.
China's southern island province of Hainan started mass Covid-19 testing on Sunday, locking down more parts of the province of over 10 million residents, as authorities scramble to contain multiple Omicron-driven outbreaks, including the worst in capital Sanya, often called “China's Hawaii”. The number of cases in the province, rapidly spreading across the island located on the South China Sea, has crossed the 1100-mark from August 1 until Sunday noon.