Barak Holds Talks with Future US Secretary of State on Middle East Crisis
Israel's caretaker Prime Minister Ehud Barak spoke by telephone Sunday with US Secretary of State designate Colin Powell about the situation in the Middle East, Barak's office said.
"The two spoke about the possibilities and the dangers inherent in the present situation in the Middle East," Barak's office said in a statement.
"The two exchanged views about the possibility of a continuation of the peace process with the Palestinians," it said, adding that the two would speak again in the next few days.
On Saturday, President-elect George W. Bush, who is to take office in January, nominated Powell, a Gulf War hero and former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, as his secretary of state.
The telephone conversation came as Israel and the Palestinians prepared to send delegations to Washington for separate consultations on the prospects for a revival of peace talks with officials from the outgoing administration of President Bill Clinton.
Powell said Saturday that the United States would remain engaged in the Middle East under a Bush administration.
US policy Middle East policy "will be based on the principle that we must always ensure that Israel live in freedom and security and peace," Powell said.
"But at the same time we have to do everything we can to deal with the aspirations of the Palestinians and the other nations in the region who have an interest in this," he said -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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