- Making News: Israel to Ease Travel Restrictions for Palestinian Vote
Condoleezza Rice says her first trip after confirmation as Secretary of State will be to Israel and the Palestinian territories, where outgoing Secretary Colin Powell is today, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Abu Mazen, the new leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The New York Times' Steve Erlanger considers Washington and Israel's push for peace during this interlude between Arafat's death and Powell's departure.
- Reporter's Notebook: Iran Suspends Nuclear Program
Iran announced today that it has suspended all efforts to enrich Uranium, as part of an agreement with Germany, Britain and France. This comes just days before a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will take up charges that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Howard LaFranchi is following the story for the Christian Science Monitor.
Restarting the Middle East Road Map
America-s out-going and in-coming Secretaries of State are focused on Israel and the Palestinian Territories, illustrating a new sense of urgency on the part of President Bush. All sides agree that Palestinian elections are essential to legitimizing new leadership and avoiding possible civil war. Palestinian leaders have established January 9 as the date for Presidential elections, but will Hamas and Islamic Jihad go along? Will Israel allow free campaigning and a fair voting process? We hear about Secretary Powell-s visit today and what-s likely to happen next from Palestinian and Israeli journalists, human rights advocates, an official of the Palestinian Authority and former Arab-Israeli advisor to President Clinton.