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Rice cancels Israel visit due to Winograd report

Secretary of state, scheduled to visit Israel next week, cancels trip following publication of war report and political turmoil in Israel

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided to cancel her planned trip to Israel in light of the political crisis in the country following the publication of the Winograd report, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday.


Rice was scheduled to visit Israel immediately after her trip to Moscow next week.


"Yeah, I'd say it's a change in plans," McCormack said. "There's obviously a lot of politics in Israel that they're working through at this point, but we're going to continue our efforts to advance the Israeli-Palestinian track.


"But it should no way denote any lessening of our focus on the issue and our determination to help the two parties move the process forward," he added.


According to McCormack, "The political situation in Israel has become a bit more complex in the near term. I think that that's safe for anybody to see. But we're working closely with the government of Prime Minister Olmert, as well as partners on the Palestinian side.


"But all of that said, I - we remain confident that we are going to be able to work closely with both sides to try to advance this process."


A senior official said that Rice is considering traveling to Egypt instead of Israel, where she will meet with representatives of the Quartet: the UN, Russia and the EU.


State official also stressed that Rice's postponement of her visit will not prevent other State Department officials from visiting the region.


פרסום ראשון: 05.07.07, 23:37
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