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(photo credit: GPO [File])
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sought the advice of former US presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton ahead of a planned Middle East peace parley scheduled to take place in Annapolis, Maryland, in November or December.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Saturday that Rice met with Carter this week. The two reportedly discussed the peace talks Carter brokered between Israel and Egypt in the late 1970s. The White House called the meeting with Carter positive and "to the point."
Rice has also spoken with Clinton, who led the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s. "[Secretary of State] Rice is trying to learn from others what can be done and how their experience can be adapted to today's situation," McCormack said, adding that Rice placed great emphasis on "learning from the past."
The State Department also reported that Rice has recently conferred with former UN Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, as well as her predecessors James Baker, Henry Kissinger, and Madeline Albright.
Rice has stated that she intends to devote the rest of the 14 months remaining in her term to establishing an independent Palestinian state while ensuring Israel's security.