WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is extending a visit to New York to participate in discussions at the United Nations over an Egyptian-French proposal for a cease-fire to end ongoing violence in Gaza.
U.S. officials say Rice was due to return to Washington on Wednesday afternoon but will delay her departure until the evening for newly scheduled talks with Arab and European foreign ministers and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The White House says there is an urgent need for a lasting cease-fire.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy says Israel and the Palestinian Authority have accepted the plan that he arranged with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. But he did not mention Hamas, the militant
group that controls Gaza and is embroiled in the fighting with Israel.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)