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Egypt, Jordan Welcome New Mideast Peace Plan - 2002-09-04

Three key U.S. allies in the Arab world are welcoming a new plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that envisions the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005. Egypt and Jordan have joined Saudi Arabia in expressing serious interest in the peace plan drawn up by Denmark and endorsed by the European Union.

The foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan welcomed the plan, calling it a "roadmap" that allows the parties to work for a solution of all aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Saudi Arabia says the plan is "a step in the right direction.

The plan would be implemented in three phases.

First, there would be a restructured Palestinian security service and a gradual Israeli withdrawal from reoccupied Palestinian self-rule areas. Then, there would be the formation of a Palestinian Authority with new legitimacy.

Then would come the establishment of a Palestinian state in June 2005.

The plan is being presented by Denmark, this year's president of the EU. Denmark's foreign minister met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Tuesday, then flew to Israel to present the plan to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.