Condoleezza Rice won't meet with Syrian backers

July 23, 2006 18:19

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. Rice will discuss how best to end the fighting in Lebanon. The chief US diplomat will not meet with Hizbullah leaders or their Syrian backers on her visit. White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said on Sunday that Rice also would focus on getting humanitarian aid to those in need. Still, he said, the US will stand firmly behind Israel, noting that an attack on an ally was considered by the administration an attack on the US.

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