Bush, Rice host PA President Abbas in goodbye visit

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to dine with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas ahead of his farewell meeting with President George W. Bush on Friday after the UN Security Council's endorsement this week of the US-sponsored Annapolis peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Rice was to have a working dinner with Abbas on Thursday to go over details of the negotiations that officials insist have made progress but have produced no tangible results and will fail to meet a year-end deadline for an agreement, the State Department said. "The secretary has committed to continue to work on this process" until President-elect Barack Obama and his team take over on Jan. 20, spokesman Sean McCormack said. "We're there to help. We're there to help shepherd."