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EXCERPTS ISRAEL: Remarks at Town Hall Meeting (U.S DEPATMENT OF STATE) Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice Washington, DC 01/31/05 11:00 a.m. EST)Source: http://www.state.gov/secretary/former/powell/remarks/2005/41414.htm U.S. STATE DEPT. U.S. STATE DEPT. Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
QUESTION: I had a specific question about your vision of the role of the U.S. in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially after Arafat left, and specifically our relationship with the Palestinian territories.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes, sure. Well, in June of 2002, the President laid out a very important vision for how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be resolved, but he said that basically the actors are going to have to make some fundamental choices, fundamental choices on the part of the Palestinians about ending terror and building democratic institutions and, at that time, finding new leadership.

He talked about fundamental choices that the Israelis were going to have to make about creating conditions in which a new Palestinian state could emerge, and, indeed, that meant that the Israelis were going to have to recognize that there was going to have to be land for -- contiguous land for this Palestinian state to exist on. And he talked about the responsibility of Arab states to end incitement and to support the peace process and for all of us to recognize that peace and security and democracy and an end to terror all go together.

The good thing about the last couple of months has been that I think you´re starting to see the parties make good, fundamental choices. And as they make those good, fundamental choices, it opens up the possibility of getting back on the roadmap toward a two-state solution.

I don´t think any of us doubt that without a Palestinian state that is viable, that can represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people, that there really isn´t going to be a peace for either the Palestinian people or for the Israelis. And so we´re going to be -- over the next several months, I´m going to Israel and to the West Bank on this trip that I´m going on. We´re going to be working with the parties, now that they´ve begun to make those fundamental choices, to push forward toward the date when we have a two-state solution. And I think it´s in our grasp, although it´s still something that has to be worked toward vigilantly. (STATE.GOV 01/31/05)

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