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Learning English - Words in the News
07 February, 2005 - Published 12:42 GMT
Rice visits Ramallah
Condoleezza Rice meets Mahmoud Abbas

The US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, on the latest stage of her visit to the Middle East, has arrived in the West Bank town of Ramallah for talks with Palestinian leaders. This reprt from Dan Issacs:

Listen to the story

Condoleezza Rice arrived at the Mukata, the compound where Yasser Arafat's body is buried, amid tight security and straight into her first meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the new Palestinian leader. For her part, Condoleezza Rice will be stressing the importance of the Palestinian commitment to an end to violence.

There's also the sensitive issue of the release of Palestinian prisoners and the withdrawal of Israeli soldiers from West Bank towns. But at this early stage, although all sides are cautiously optimistic that security concerns can be addressed, the Americans are clearly wary of greater engagement in the process.

Dan Issacs, BBC News, Ramallah

Listen to the words

in the middle of, surrounded by

For her part
this expression is used to introduce what she will be doing in the talks, what her priorities are

stressing the importance of
making it clear that something is very important, in this case the commitment to an end to violence

the sensitive issue of
a subject that can cause strong emotions

all sides
all the different groups involved in the discussions

cautiously optimistic
think there will be a positive result, but are careful not to believe that this will definitiely happen

security concerns
worries about security

can be addressed
can be thought about and fixed

wary of greater engagement in the process
If you are 'wary of...' something, it means you are careful and cautious about it - this sentence means that the Americans do not want to become too deeply involved in the process of dealing with the security problems - they are 'wary of' that level of involvement

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