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'Still Committed to Road Map', says Sharon - 2004-10-06

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has reaffirmed his commitment to a Middle East peace initiative, despite comments from one of his senior advisers who effectively dismissed the plan.

Mr. Sharon issued a statement Wednesday calling the so-called "road map" to peace the only plan that can bring about a durable political settlement.

Last month, the Israeli leader said his government was no longer following the plan. And in an interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz Wednesday, key Sharon advisor, Dov Weisglass said Israel's plan to withdraw all Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements by the end of 2005 will indefinitely postpone the establishment of a Palestinian state.

His remarks appeared to contradict long-standing U.S. policy on the Middle East. He later said he was not accurately quoted.