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US Envoy Meets Israeli Officials on 'Road Map' Peace Plan - 2003-12-15

U.S. Middle East envoy David Satterfield was meeting with top Israeli officials Sunday in an effort to revive the international "roadmap" to peace plan.

Mr. Satterfield said that both Israelis and Palestinians will need to take what he calls "concrete steps" in order to end their long-running conflict.

His talks Sunday were with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's chief of staff, Dov Weisglass, and the heads of Israel's secret police and the Israeli military intelligence.

Mr. Satterfield, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, is in the region to urge Israelis and Palestinians to revive the "roadmap", a plan which calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state by 2005.

Speaking to reporters during his visit, he said both Israelis and Palestinians need to work together to prevent more bloodshed. "We very much hope that concrete steps can be taken by all sides, on all of the issues necessary to see progress restored," said Mr. Satterfield. "It is the fate of the lives Palestinians and Israelis which are at issue here. And for their sake we hope that progress can be made."

On Saturday, Mr. Satterfield met with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ahmed Qureia, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Mr. Satterfield's talks on Sunday focused on preparations for the first face-to-face talks between Mr. Qureia and his Israeli counterpart, Mr. Sharon.

No date or venue for the meeting has yet been set although senior Israeli and Palestinian officials are expected to hold discussions this week on a possible agenda.