Secretary of State Colin Powell meets Friday at the United Nations with other members of the Middle East "quartet" Russia, the European Union and the U.N. to discuss ways to advance the stalled "road map" to an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
Implementation of the "road map" has ground to a halt since the last meeting of the "quartet" three months ago in Jordan. But Mr. Powell told reporters Thursday the sponsors of the peace plan intend to move ahead with it once Palestinian prime minister-designate Ahmed Qurei forms a government.
"We believe firmly in the concept of the road map and it is still there," he said. "But we are waiting for the Palestinian side to determine the make-up of its new government so that we have a partner that we can work with."
A senior U.S. official said Mr. Powell hopes his "quartet" partners, who unlike the United States maintain direct dialogue with Yasser Arafat, will make clear to the Palestinian Authority chief that he "needs to get out of the way" and transfer full control of security forces to a prime minister who will act against terrorism.