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Powell: 'Roadmap' for Mideast Peace to be Published Soon - 2003-02-07

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told U.S. lawmakers that President Bush is prepared to take on a more active role to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the president remains committed to a Middle East peace plan, or 'roadmap' that aims to establish a Palestinian state by the year 2005.

Mr. Powell said he expects the plan to be published in the near future, at a time to be determined by the president.

"Now that the Israeli election is over, I expect in the near future we will be moving forward on the road map," he said. "I know the president intends to take a more active role in finding a way forward with the Middle East peace process."

The administration had refused to release the document before last month's Israeli election.

The roadmap envisions a three stage process that would create Palestinian institutions, establish provisional borders for a state by the end of the year, and reach a final agreement with defined borders in 2005.

Mr. Bush has made reform in the Palestinian Authority a condition for Palestinian statehood, but Secretary Powell said he has not seen much progress toward that end.