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Rice and Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel Tzipi

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
November 30, 2006

FOREIGN MINISTER LIVNI: I would like to welcome Secretary Rice to Jerusalem and to the region once again. Thank you so much. This is a special week, I do hope so anyway, and the beginning -- we saw the beginning, I hope, of a ceasefire and then the most important speech of Prime Minister Olmert, sending a message to the moderates in the Palestinian Authority, saying that there is a political horizon, but there are some steps that -- which are needed.

I would like also to thank the United States and Secretary Rice for the leadership, for the policy which on one hand said that there is no just cause for terrorism and it should be stopped, and on the other hand, sending a message to the moderates saying that there is this vision of two states and saying that there is a political horizon supporting and strengthening the moderates. I do believe that this represents the interest of the region, the interest of the moderates, the interests of Israel, and the moderates in the Palestinian Authority, as well as the international community. Thank you.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, thank you very much, Minister Livni, for having me here. Indeed, it has been a week of progress, a week that we hope can be consolidated. The ceasefire now needs to be consolidated by actions to make certain that it is enforced. I also appreciate the statement of restraint that the Israeli Government has issued concerning the ceasefire, because it is, of course, quite fragile, but we would like to see it consolidated and then extended.

It was also a very popular speech by Prime Minister Olmert and, I think, a hand reaching out to a Palestinian partner. I was just with President Abbas. He is, indeed, a man who has been committed to a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the establishment of two states, democratic and independent living side by side in freedom. We will have discussions, brief though they will be, about how we might continue to move forward on the vision of those two states living side by side. And I appreciate very much your having me here.

FOREIGN MINISTER LIVNI: Thank you. Thank you so much.




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