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Remarks With Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni Before Their Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
November 4, 2007

Secretary Rice with Israeli Foreign Minister Zipi Livni [State Dept. Photo].FOREIGN MINISTER LIVNI: (Inaudible) with Secretary Rice (inaudible) reach an understanding on the bilateral front between Israel and the Palestinians, the understanding that would be great (inaudible). So it's a really complicated approach. We need to find an understanding with the Palestinians (inaudible) the other side (inaudible).

So Israel -- besides that, though, the Israelis' vision to enter this dialogue is right from the understanding that (inaudible) a vision of future understanding between Israel and the Palestinians and is also to (inaudible) on the grounds of the roadmap with (inaudible). (Inaudible) very difficult, but we would like to respond (inaudible). (Inaudible) complicated with the Middle East (inaudible).

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much for inviting me to meet again, I think a couple of times now. And I look forward to working to try to advance (inaudible) bilaterally with the Palestinians as well as in time for the international meetings, but I think we need to have a full program here and we're going to get started on it very quickly.

QUESTION: Minister Livni, what progress has been made since Secretary Rice was here last time? And do you think you're going to be able to bridge differences ahead of the Annapolis conference and agree on a document?

And Secretary Rice, have you spoken to President Musharraf today and could you please give us an update on what's happening there?

FOREIGN MINISTER LIVNI: Well, (inaudible) between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which is on the understanding that negotiations and the dialogue isn't implausible and we are not -- so of course (inaudible) with the press and the public, not the -- there's no (inaudible).

But basically, we are just at the beginning of the process and the dialogue and there is a need to understand that even though we need to find the common ground with the pragmatic leaders, they need to understand that the implementation of future understandings would be implemented only according to the (inaudible) of the roadmap with the Middle East, that you would be doing that first and then the establishment of a Palestinian state, because nobody wants to see another (inaudible) state in the region, not the international (inaudible), not the (inaudible), not the Palestinian one.

So (inaudible) and I think that the more people (inaudible) the process itself, not only in the (inaudible). I hope we (inaudible) the process, but it's not going to be the end of the process. So we need to address the kind of -- the differences, of course, but also, if we can find a way to reach an understanding of the process -- understanding is not difficult.

QUESTION: But you think you'll get a document before Annapolis?

FOREIGN MINISTER LIVNI: The problem is not to reach a document (inaudible), reaching it, but to (inaudible) in the document. And basically, the reason you (inaudible) from Israel to, of course, to Abu Mazen (inaudible) their group, to reach an understanding of the process that it -- that was not here (inaudible). And so basically, (inaudible) even though he (inaudible) judging on the ground (inaudible), it's complicated (inaudible) to reach an understanding that (inaudible).

SECRETARY RICE: I have not spoken with President Musharraf. I happened to be (inaudible) embassy over in (inaudible) consistent with the reporting that we've seen in the press about the (inaudible). I just want to repeat that the United States does not support a (inaudible) Pakistani leadership prior to the faction, that it would not support extra (inaudible). I think the issue now is that it is in the best interests of Pakistan and the best interests of the Pakistani people for there to be a prompt return to the constitutional court, for there to be an affirmation that elections will be held for a new parliament and for all parties to act with restraint in what is obviously a very difficult situation.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) It's about a meeting between you and the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Inaudible) and this is the first sign for changing (inaudible) towards (inaudible) and (inaudible). Seems like everything is something that remains and we hear about the tension in the meeting, especially since the negotiations got into higher (inaudible) each side. How are you going to prevent a dead end?

SECRETARY RICE: I think it's a matter of my (inaudible) with the Syrian Foreign Minister (inaudible) off at a certain time. I got to (inaudible) last neighbors meeting for Iraq because I think it was building towards all of Iraq (inaudible), stability in Iraq. In this case, I also had an opportunity to impress upon him (inaudible) the importance of refraining from any interference in the upcoming presidential elections in Lebanon, the importance of Lebanon being able to call (inaudible) support toward the election of a president and that that should be done without any (inaudible) or without (inaudible).

I might note too that I met a little later on in the day with the foreign ministers of France and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Jordan as well as the General Secretary of the Arab League and we have issues -- it is similar, that calls upon all to allow the Lebanese to carry this forward without intimidation and without interference. And that is being delivered on behalf of that group to Syria.

FOREIGN MINISTER LIVNI: Well, there is no tension in the meetings, there is a good atmosphere, in fact, but yes, there are problems (inaudible), decision to enter this dialogue is based on the understanding that its limitations (inaudible) in the future. It's tough to (inaudible) of the roadmap. The meeting is, of course, (inaudible), of course (inaudible) roadmap. But basically, (inaudible) to reach an understanding on -- the basic understanding that the creation of a Palestinian state comes after the implementation of the roadmap (inaudible).

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much.


Released on November 4, 2007

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