The White House has welcomed the vote in the Palestinian parliament to approve a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. The Bush administration says the move paves the way for the release of a detailed peace plan.
White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer said the news from Ramallah is good. "The president looks forward to working with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people, as well as the Israeli government and the Israeli people to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East," he said.
The White House had linked approval of a new cabinet to the formal release of its new peace plan. Mr. Fleischer says the so-called Middle East "roadmap" will be put forward soon.
"The United States will shortly release the roadmap formally to the parties," said the spokesman. "Our hope is that they will work diligently and hard to advance the cause of peace, and we will welcome their contributions to the roadmap."
The plan envisions the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel by the end of 2005.