US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said a US-sponsored Mideast peace conference this fall will confront "critical issues" in the six-decade conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, but she remained vague about what is on the agenda and who will attend.
"Nobody wants to have a meeting where people simply come and sit and talk and talk and talk," Rice said Wednesday en route to a quick visit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. "We want to advance the cause," of peace between enemies.
US President George W. Bush in July called for a new conference to break the deadlock in the Mideast peace process, but the lack of an official agenda, location and timing for the meeting worries Arab leaders the United States wants to recruit as backers for renewed peace talks leading to an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.
With only two months to organize the session, expected in mid-November, the United States has not issued invitations to Arab states or others and has been unclear about what it wants to accomplish.
Rice waved off questions about the conference agenda and attendance list, saying she will have more to say soon.