Olmert and Rice to hold surprise meeting in Japan

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will hold a surprise meeting during their two respective state visits to Japan next week, it was announced Friday, even though Rice is scheduled to travel to Israel the following week. Government official estimated that the meeting, arranged at Rice's request, would focus on the crisis in the Gaza Strip and that the secretary of state would express her concern over the humanitarian situation in the territory. Prime Minister's Office officials said that Olmert would brief Rice on the ongoing peace talks with the Palestinians.