first day, has made it clear. we are committed to pursuing a path of peace in the middle east. and to get the two parties to get to a point where they can engage in negotiations again to deal with these very difficult final status issues, our goal remains the resumption, relaunch of negotiations, both incorrect, eventually leading to direct, and that's our focus. >> secretary gates, turning to afghanistan, when you hear president karzai refer to the 87,000 troops under your command as occupiers, and suggests that he could envision joining the taliban, how does that affect you? does it make your blood boil? >> well, i think, you know, this is a man who is, first of all, a political leader. he has domestic audiences, as well as foreign audiences.