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Arab states must reach out to Israel: Condoleezza Rice

Rice also said Israel and Palestine leaders have agreed to meet every two weeks.

world Updated: Mar 27, 2007 14:27 IST

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.

First Published: Mar 27, 2007 14:08 IST