U.S. to Abbas: Militants must ultimately be disarmed (REUTERS) WASHINGTON 01/31/05 04:43 PM ET)
Reuters News Service
Reuters News Service Articles-Index-Top
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday backed efforts by
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate a cease-fire
with militants, but said he would ultimately need to disarm the
Officials say a cease-fire could smooth the way for Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon´s plan to pull Jewish settlers from Gaza later
"A cease-fire can help end the violence," White House spokesman Scott
McClellan said. "But ultimately we need to dismantle those terrorist
organizations that exist," he told reporters ahead of talks between
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Dov Weisglass, Sharon´s
chief diplomatic adviser.
U.S. President George W. Bush has enthusiastically backed Abbas,
elected earlier this month to replace Yasser Arafat, whom Washington
shunned as an obstacle to peace until his death.
McClellan praised Abbas for deploying Palestinian security forces in
Gaza to stop gunmen.
Rice will visit Israel and the West Bank on Monday. She will later
attend a conference in London on Palestinian reforms. The Bush
administration is expected to provide an extra $200 million in aid
this year to the Palestinians.
"This is a very hopeful period and a historic opportunity that we
need to seize. And now is the time to do that," McClellan said. (©
Reuters 2005 01/31/05)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY