U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says prospects for Middle East peace are better than at any time in years, and she says the United States will do everything possible to bring peace to the region.
Ms. Rice spoke today (Tuesday) in London, after a 23-nation conference called to ensure international support for Palestinian security reforms. Israel has demanded the reforms as a condition for renewed contacts with the Palestinian Authority.
Earlier, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pledged security reforms as part of a push to re-start the long-stalled peace process.
A final conference statement includes Palestinian commitments to dismantle militant groups and to end attacks on Israel. It also promises the consolidation of a dozen competing Palestinian security forces.
In return, donor countries have promised to help finance the new Palestinian security apparatus, and to promote reconstruction in the Gaza Strip after Israel withdraws from the territory later this year.