After the U.S secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, conducted her Middle East tour, she announced that the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, agreed to hold informal talks about the nature of the future Palestinian independent state.During talks with reporters who accompanied her, Rice stated that “it seems that the climate for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement is now more positive than the case in the 2000 talks in Camp David, due to political changes on both sides”, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.


Also, Rice urged the Palestinians and Israel not to delay the implementation of the first stage of the Road Map Plan and to hold talks on broader issues.


Haaretz added that Rice intends to return to the Middle east in early February for meetings with Olmert and Abbas, and that the United States is currently looking for a neutral country that would host the tripartite meeting.


The US did not send any invitation for Olmert or Abbas to come to Washington for further talks.


Back in the Middle East, Israeli Chief of staff Yoram Turbowicz, and Olmert’s political advisor, Shalom Torjeman, will meet in the coming days with their Palestinian counter parts, Dr. Sa’eb Erekat and Rafiq Al Husseini to determine the summit’s agenda.


Rice also stated that the idea of informal talks was initially presented by Abbas.