Rice says hopes for peace deal while Bush in office

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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov 5 (Reuters) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today she hoped Israel and the Palestinians could reach a peace deal before President George W Bush steps down in January 2009.

At a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at her side, Rice said she hoped a US-led West Asia conference would be the launching pad for ''negotiations that I sincerely hope ... could achieve their goals within the time remaining to the Bush administration.'' REUTERS PD HS1743

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