US secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, met on Friday, with the Israeli prime Minister Ariel Sharon at his Negev Ranch, Sharon was reportedly “very pleased” with the outcome of the meeting.

The Friday morning meeting, which lasted for three hours, was described by sources at the Sharon Office as “positive”, officials said that Rice also pushed Sharon to coordinate the pullout plan with the Palestinian Authority.

A senior Israeli source reported that rice was “receptive” of Israel’s demand that the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas should fight the resistance groups.

American and Israeli officials participated in the meeting and had breakfast together, an Israeli source reported, “the breakfast was peppered with jokes”, the source added.

Sharon told Rice during the meeting that the “Arab world has not recognized the Jewish right for a state in the land of Israel”, an Israeli source reported.

Also, Sharon told Rice that he “is in favor of sharing water resources with the Palestinians”.

Sharon reportedly raised the issue of constructing homes for Palestinian refugees in areas which Israel intends to evacuate from, Rice told Sharon that she “has plenty to talk about” during her Saturday meeting with Abbas.

During her upcoming meeting with the Palestinian leadership, Rice is expected to discuss several issues, especially those regarding the upcoming Israeli withdrawal.

Rice said that it is very important that pullout should be coordinated because “there are sides which will be acting in order to foil it” Rice said, “following disengagement, we should go back to the Road Map plan”, she added.

A senior source at the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that Rice did not discuss the issue of settlement expansion in the West Bank, and evacuating the illegal outposts, during her meeting with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom, after she landed in Israeli on Thursday.