PA aide: Rice, Abbas to meet Thursday

US, Israel don't know whether Rice also plans to meet with Israeli officials.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is coming to the West Bank town of Jericho on Thursday for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, an Abbas aide said Tuesday. Rice is accompanying US President George W. Bush this week on his trip to neighboring Jordan to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The US Embassy said it had no information on whether Rice would be meeting with Palestinian and Israeli officials while in the region. Israeli officials said they did not know whether Rice would be coming to Israel. Separately, Abbas' office said he would meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Amman on Tuesday to discuss new prospects for resuming Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking in the wake of a Gaza truce. The visit comes a day after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appealed to the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table, and two days after an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire ended five months of violence in Gaza.