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By prospect   December 2006

Condi’s global sisterhood

Over the years, Condi Rice has been building a network of well-placed female contacts for discreet chats and soundings, and Margaret Beckett is the newest member. The group includes, among others, India’s Sonia Gandhi, Queen Rania of Jordan, Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet and Israel’s foreign minister Tzipi Livni. So far so conventional. But it also includes the Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi, who, in a long private session in Rice’s office, recently warned that Palestine was sinking into civil war. Ashrawi also briefed Rice on her efforts to develop a third party, independent…

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