Rice: No state, no peace (JERUSALEM POST) By JANINE ZACHARIA 02/02/05)
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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
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
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
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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