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Sharon Visits Ground Zero - 2001-11-30


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon began a five day trip to the United States with a visit Friday to "Ground Zero" in New York, the site of the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Mr. Sharon toured the site of the "twin towers" collapse with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The Israeli prime minister once again pledged his country's support and cooperation in the "war on terrorism."

While the September 11 attacks were the subject of discussions between Mr. Sharon and Mayor Giuliani, the focus of media attention was on Middle East peace.

"We can live together with Arabs," he told reporters at the site. "And I believe that once everyone will understand that we cannot achieve anything by using pressure, or terror or violence or incitement."

The Israeli prime minister said he is in a unique position to broker peace. I saw my best friend being killed," he said. "Myself, I've been wounded seriously twice in battles. I had to take decisions of life and death, for others and myself. Therefore, I believe I understand the importance of peace, if I may say, better than many of the politicians that speak about peace, but never had that experience."

Mr. Sharon meets with President Bush next week in Washington. The Israeli prime minister began his visit, despite a surge in violence back home between Israelis and Palestinians.

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