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Rice likely to delay her departure from Malaysia

July 28, 2006

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice will likely delay her departure from Malaysia
until Saturday, said a senior State Department official,
dashing hopes that she would return to the Middle East on
Friday.

“Her departure is likely to be on Saturday,” said a senior
State Department official. No reason was given for the change
in schedule.

All the bags were packed and ready to go when the schedule
was suddenly changed, suggesting that negotiations in the
Middle East had not reached a point where her presence could
push the warring sides in the Middle East conflict to a deal.

Rice has been in Malaysia for meetings hosted by the
Association of South East Asian Nations in Kuala Lumpur.

Rice came here from a packed round of meetings in the
Middle East via a one-day conference in Rome that called for an
urgent but not immediate ceasefire to hostilities in southern
Lebanon.

She said on arrival she was willing to return to the Middle
East at any time, but added that only made sense if she could
help bring about a lasting peace, underlining Washington’s
reluctance to rein in Israel while it is fighting Hizbollah.


Source: reuters



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