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Top US officials to visit Israel
Published Tuesday 06/05/2014 (updated) 09/05/2014 18:18
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US National Security Advisor Susan Rice speaks in the Brady Briefing
Room of the White House on March 21, 2014 in Washington
(AFP/File Mandel Ngan)
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- US National Security Advisor Susan Rice will visit Israel this week for high-level talks only days after the collapse of a US-led peace bid, the White House said Tuesday.

Rice will "lead the US delegation to the US-Israel Consultative Group meetings" on Wednesday and Thursday, said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

It will be Rice's first trip to Israel since becoming the top security adviser to President Barack Obama in July and also comes just ahead of resumed negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

The consultative group meets regularly for "strategic interagency consultations with senior members of the US and Israeli governments to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional security issues."

Rice will also meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hayden said in a statement.

The trip comes as the White House is evaluating whether to continue with its hard-fought negotiations to strike a peace deal after Netanyahu last month announced Israel was pulling out of the process.

The Israeli leader has angrily denounced moves by the President Mahmoud Abbas to strike a reconciliation deal with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf Monday dismissed reports that Secretary of State John Kerry had decided to dismantle the team of negotiators who have been based on the ground in Jerusalem for months trying to push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"We're going to see where this goes from here and, you know, figure out what makes sense in terms of staffing," she told reporters, saying "we have some senior officials that will be going soon" to the region, without going into specifics.

Chief US negotiator Martin Indyk was said to have been quoted anonymously in an interview in the Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, in which US officials blamed Israel for the breakdown in the talks and said Netanyahu "did not move more than an inch."

Harf insisted no one side was to blame, saying "both sides did things that were incredibly unhelpful."

She did confirm, however, that Kerry is mulling whether to release a document laying out some of the principles reached during the nine months of talks.

Indyk, a former US ambassador to Israel, has meanwhile returned to Washington for consultations, Harf confirmed.
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1 ) he is DISPISED / IN ISRAEL
06/05/2014 21:11
all of OBAMA administration is DESPISED IN ISRAEL

2 ) Mel / USA
06/05/2014 22:19
O vunderbah! M/S Brookings Institute(of war mongers).Madam'look the other way on Rwandan genocide'Rice, bestest buddy of iron-fist Paul Kagame.And,former disciple of Madeleine Albright. It seems they just roll these Zio-bots off the SAME production line? Is she stopping by the US embassy at Benghazi,on the way to meet with Zionist war-criminals Peres &Beebs,to lay a wreath for the Holocaust? Yawwwwwn!

3 ) JoeFattal / USA
07/05/2014 01:02
Her reputation after the Benghasi terror attack that kill the US Ambassador, and not warning the US Ambassy of an imminent terror attack leaves her credibility in doubt. For her to be going to Israel a very unhelpful peace negotiation effort is but to revive her credibility that she already lost in her Benghasi security breach. A waste of time unless Israel decide to go back to the 67 lines and to avoid the Palestinians to be displaced again all over the countryside.

4 ) ian / australia
07/05/2014 02:15
'Martin Indyk...quoted anonymously...said Netanyahu "did not move more than an inch" ' "More than an inch"? Israel demanded East Jerusalem, inc. the Haram, ALL the settlements, inc. E1, the Jordan Valley and recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the JEWISH people. That's nowhere near an "inch". Where is the "inch" Israel conceded to the Palestinians? It escaped me.

5 ) Robert / US
07/05/2014 03:16
This women dioent do anything for Peace. Simple as that .

6 ) Scott Shepard / USA
07/05/2014 03:55
That seems fair, as usual. The White House team visits Israel. Palestine? Why consult them? PLus, that would just annoy the Israelis. Can't you just hear Rice: 'So, what do we have to give you to get you back to the table, guys? How about more weapons?' And they wonder why Israel makes no concessions? They just assume that whatever they work out the Palestinians will just swallow it, having no choice. Think again. We're going to the UN this, to get a better deal.

7 ) AKeenReader / UK
07/05/2014 11:34
Suddenly Rice has become a US National security adviser. What does she really know about security. These politicians become heads of organisations without having a clue about the job. That's why they make mess of everything they touch.
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