(Reuters) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began on Monday another Middle East visit aimed at bridging gaps holding up an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that Washington says it still hopes to reach this year.
Here are details of her Middle East trips in the past 18 months:
November 30, 2006 - Rice’s visit comes at a time of heightened efforts to break months of impasse. Despite no tangible results after a series of meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the two hold their first formal meeting in nearly two years on December 23.
January 13-14, 2007 - Rice presses for reviving talks but says she will not present concrete new initiative. Rice promises a bigger push for Palestinian state to bolster Abbas against Hamas Islamists in his government.
February 19 - Abbas and Olmert meet Rice in Jerusalem. They pledge to hold more bilateral Israeli-Palestinian meetings.
March 25-27 - Rice wins promise from the two to meet each other every two weeks. They do meet on April 15 but then fail to do so again until late June, just after Abbas dismisses Hamas from government following the group’s seizure of the Gaza Strip.
August 1-2 - After President George W. Bush calls on July 16 for Middle East peace conference, Rice presses both sides to discuss core issues for founding Palestinian state. Also visits Abbas in West Bank, a sign of approval of his dismissing Hamas.
September 19-20 - Rice says all sides determined that conference in November be a success, but gives no indication Israel and the Palestinians are close to formulating a joint policy document.
October 14-18 - Rice plays down Palestinian calls for a timeline to statehood, which Israel strongly opposes.
November 3-5 - Rice meets Israeli and Palestinian leaders and hopes for peace deal before Bush steps down in January 2009.
-- Rice hosts November 27 international conference in Annapolis, Maryland, which yields promises from both sides to try to forge a two-state agreement.
January 8-11, 2008 - Rice accompanies Bush to bolster the Annapolis conference. Bush paints an upbeat picture from talks with Olmert and Abbas.
March 3-5 - Rice ends a three-day visit by dispatching an envoy to Cairo, which is trying to calm tensions between Israel and Hamas. Rice urges Olmert and Abbas to get negotiations launched in Annapolis back on track.
March 29-31 - After calls by Rice, who shuttled between Israel and Jordan, Israel announces plans to ease some restrictions on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
May 3-4 - Rice spending much of her trip discussing checkpoints and manned roadblocks Israel has erected across the West Bank.
May 13-14 - Rice traveled with Bush to Israel to mark its 60th anniversary.
June 14/15 - Rice says Israel’s settlement building was harming peace negotiations.
August 25 - Rice begins two-day visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank. She plans talks with Olmert and Abbas and negotiators from both sides.
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