United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to resume peace talks suspended over an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. Signalling a willingness by Israel to hold fire, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said there would not be further attacks on Gaza if Palestinian militants stop rocket salvoes.
World powers said they would have to overcome key differences on Tuesday to agree on a new sanctions resolution against Iran that aims to ratchet up pressure on Tehran to curb sensitive nuclear work. The West has been engaged in a diplomatic showdown with Iran over its nuclear programme since 2002.
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Ethiopia on Wednesday for talks with African leaders aimed at tackling long-running conflicts in the volatile Great Lakes region, Somalia and Sudan. On only her second trip in two years to sub-Saharan Africa, Rice said she wanted to move international efforts forward to resolve those conflicts.
The United States will slap travel and financial sanctions on about 40 more people with ties to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has cracked down hard on dissent, a senior US official said on Monday. ''Mugabe's tyranny needs to end,'' said US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer.
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Ethiopia next week for meetings on the conflicts in the volatile African Great Lakes region and Sudan and Somalia, said the State Department on Thursday. Rice, a rare visitor to the African continent, will make her third trip to sub-Saharan Africa since becoming Secretary of State in 2005.
Condoleezza Rice taught crisis management at Stanford University but experts say the top United States diplomat will need more than academic prowess to mediate an end to six decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ''The question is, will she have that diplomatic skill to pull it off?'' asked Daniel Levy, a former Israeli mediator.
Turkey stepped up pressure on the United States to help curb attacks by Kurdish rebels from northern Iraq as a conference on Saturday of Iraq's neighbours and major powers sought to lower cross-border tensions. The ''neighbours' conference'', hosted by Turkey, was meant to focus on security inside Iraq but instead it is overshadowed by tensions between Turkey and Iraq.