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Middle East Summit Commits to Proceed with "Road Map" Peace Plan - 2003-06-04


U.S. President Bush holds a summit with the Israeli and Palestinian Prime ministers in Jordan. Both Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon saying they are committed to the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace by the year 2005. Amy Katz reports.

Jordan’s King Abdullah hosted the summit, which took place in the port city of Aqaba Wednesday. After the talks, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said they are committed to proceeding with the U.S. and internationally supported so-called “road map” plan for peace in the Middle East. Prime Minister Abbas said it is time to bring all the suffering to an end, and he vowed that the Palestinians will do their part.

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER(ARABIC W/ ENGLISH TRANSLATION)
“The armed Intifada must end and we must use and resort to peaceful means in our quest to end the occupation and the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis - and to establish a Palestinian state.”

Prime Minister Sharon said Israel understands the importance of contiguous territory for a Palestinian state, vowing to dismantle illegal Jewish settlement outposts on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (ENGLISH)
“I want to reiterate that Israel is a society governed by the rule of law. Thus, we will immediately begin to remove unauthorized outposts.”

President Bush said progress is being made.

U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
“All here today share a goal: the Holy Land must be shared between the state of Palestine and the state of Israel. Living at peace with each other and with every nation of the Middle East.”

President Bush also said the U.S. will do everything it can to help make the dream of peace a reality – and while the journey will be difficult there is no other choice.

It was the first joint meeting President Bush has held with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

On Tuesday, he held talks with Arab leaders in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt.

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