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Rice to Brief Middle East Quartet on Efforts to Revive Peace Talks


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Berlin to brief the international quartet for Middle East peace, composed of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States, on her visit to the region and efforts to revive the peace process.

Rice met Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, but reported no breakthroughs.

Mr. Abbas said Tuesday that his talks with Rice and the Israeli prime minister were tense but not a failure.

Jordan's King Abdullah Tuesday urged Rice to step up efforts to revive the Middle East peace talks.

After meeting with Rice in Amman, he issued a statement saying the people of the region look towards the United States to create the atmosphere needed for resuming negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Mr. Abbas' Fatah movement and the ruling Hamas party agreed earlier this month on a unity government, ending more than two years of fighting. The unity accord does not require Hamas to recognize Israel or renounce violence - two major U.S. and Israeli demands for reviving peace talks and badly-needed financial aid to the Palestinian government.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.