Rice will return to Mideast to work on cease-fire

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday she will return to the Middle East to work with others on trying to bring an end to the Israeli-Hizbullah fighting. She did not say when she would return to the troubled region, but that she would first be conferring with top aides. "I do think it is important that groundwork be laid so I can make the most of whatever time I can spend there," Rice told a news conference here, where she has been attending a conference on Asian issues. Rice didn't provide a precise time for her return to the Middle East where diplomats are working to reach a cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah.