U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated on Friday that a trilateral summit between Abbas, Olmert and herself will be kicked-off on February 19. The summit will declare the launch of final status peace talks.Rice said that the talks will be on the establishment of a Palestinian independent state that complies with international standards and the principles of the Quartet.


Rice also stated that she will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to discuss with them the means needed to achieve a political horizon, and conduct the needed measures to establish an independent Palestinian state.


Moreover, Rice said that “Hamas movement must comply with the aspirations of the Palestinian people”, but expressed doubts that Hamas will change its strategy.


She added that Abbas will be able to tell the Palestinian people that the future is in a two-state solution, living side by side in peace.


The statements of Rice demanded Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel, but she did not ask Israel to stop its settlement expansion or the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.