Rice rules out timetable for Middle East talks

Condoleezza Rice addresses U.S. embassy personnel

Wants to create movement toward peace

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct. 16 — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in the West Bank a timetable is not necessary for a permanent accord between Israel and the Palestinians.

Rice said after a series of meetings in Ramallah that a timetable is not necessary as a precondition for November peace talks in Annapolis, Md., Ynetnews reported Tuesday.

“I am not certain that a timetable that says we have to complete X by Y time is where we want to go,” Rice said. She said Washington wants to create movement toward peace by setting a start date for the talks, but no agreement has yet been reached.

The secretary said the joint document planned to be the basis for the talks needs to be “serious and substantive and deal with core issues.”

However, she said the document does not need to be very specific in order to meet her qualifications.

“Everybody understands that if the document deals with the creation of a Palestinian state, it’s dealing with core issues,” Rice said.