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Rice Urges More Coordination on Gaza Pullout


Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has praised Palestinian efforts to ensure security ahead of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip next month, but urged both sides to do more.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas Saturday in Ramallah, Secretary Rice said the Palestinians and Israelis are coordinating efforts to ensure security for the Gaza pullout.

Ms. Rice said that after the Israeli withdrawal, the United States wants to make sure that the Gaza strip has access to the West Bank and is not kept isolated as it is now. The West Bank is the other Israeli-occupied territory that Palestinians want for a state.

The top U.S. diplomat also reiterated that the United States is committed to making sure that there is a stop to Israeli 'settlement activity.'

Mr. Abbas has said the Palestinian Authority will do its part to control militants, but he also has told reporters the Israelis must start sharing detailed information about their withdrawal plans.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters , AP and AFP.

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