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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rice's Mideast Peace Efforts Stumble Early

JERUSALEM -- Talks between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, initially billed as a new U.S. push to restart peace efforts, ended Monday with little progress other than a commitment to meet again.

In a 90-second statement following the two-hour meeting, Rice said the two sides exchanged views of the political future and agreed to hold another summit.

Neither Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas nor Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert joined Rice as she delivered the statement, and she left without taking questions from reporters. Israeli and Palestinian officials were not immediately available for comment.

The meeting was beset by low expectations amid U.S. and Israeli dissatisfaction with a Palestinian power-sharing deal. It got off to a bland start, with Rice, Abbas and Olmert clasping hands together and flashing polite smiles for the cameras in an unadorned hotel conference room.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the internationally backed "road map" peace plan and agreed that a solution to the conflict would not be "born of violence," Rice said.

Rice reported no progress in restarting final-status talks, the ostensible purpose of the meeting when it was announced last month. Expectations for the talks plummeted last week after Abbas and the Islamic Hamas group, which controls the Palestinian parliament, agreed to a power-sharing deal that fell short of meeting international demands.