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Rice: No state, no peace (JERUSALEM POST) By JANINE ZACHARIA 02/02/05)Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1107280305873 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
No peace between Israel and the Palestinians will be possible until a Palestinian state is established, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday.

"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," Rice told a town hall meeting at the State Department.

Rice´s comments came ahead of a trip to Europe and the Middle East during which US mediation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is expected to be a top agenda item. Rice departs Wednesday and will arrive in Israel and the West Bank toward the end of the week.

She said she would be working with the parties "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."

US President George W. Bush said in an interview last week that he thought a Palestinian state could be achieved by 2009, the end of his second term. The road map, sketched out by the US and international partners, had called for a state to be created by the end of this year.

Rice met Monday in Washington with Prime Minister Sharon´s adviser Dov Weisglass to discuss Israel´s disengagement plan, which remains, along with Palestinian reform, the Bush administration´s focus for the moment.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield noted last week that "calls for an immediate resumption of permanent status talks are premature. They ignore the importance of both Israelis and Palestinians taking the concrete steps to rebuild trust and confidence that will lay the foundation for forward movement."

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Rice expressed "our appreciation for the kinds of efforts that the Israelis and the Palestinians have been undertaking together." (© 1995-2005, The Jerusalem Post 02/02/05)

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