Former US secretary of state Rice to visit Israel

By
May 16, 2012 01:18

Condoleezza Rice to participate in conference on home front security, in first visit to Israel since leaving office.

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice 311 R. (photo credit:REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Condoleezza Rice, who was secretary of state under US president George W. Bush, will visit Israel next week for the first time since leaving office in January 2009, to take part in a conference on home front security.

Rice, whose name has been mentioned as a possible Republican vice presidential candidate for presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney, is scheduled to meet with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during her stay.

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Though Rice was close to Tzipi Livni when the latter was foreign minister, it is not immediately clear whether the two will meet.

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert cited Rice’s memoirs at the recent Jerusalem Post Conference in New York when he accused Livni, without mentioning her by name, of going behind his back to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and telling him to wait for her to take over as prime minister for a better peace offer.

Abbas never responded to Olmert’s offer, and Livni never became prime minister.

In her memoirs, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington, Rice wrote about the Olmert proposal and Abbas’s response: “Still, I worried that there might never be another chance like this one. Tzipi Livni urged me (and, I believe, Abbas) not to enshrine the Olmert proposal. ‘He has no standing in Israel.’” Rice, a political science professor at Stanford, is also the head of a private consulting firm advising Motorola, and will take part in a conference sponsored by Motorola Solutions Sunday on “next generation solutions” for home front security. Among others speaking will be Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon, outgoing Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i, and Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.

Although polls have indicated Rice is the favored vice presidential pick among Republican voters, she told Fox News in March that Romney should look for “somebody who really wants” to be in elected office.

“How many ways can I say it?” she quipped. “Not me.”

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