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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 30, 2003
Statement on the Middle East
Statement by the President on the Middle East
On March 14, I Noted the Important Steps Taken by the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) toward the creation of an empowered, accountable office of Prime Minister. The PLC has now confirmed a new Palestinian Prime Minister and Cabinet. Today, the roadmap for peace developed by the United States over the last several months in close cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations has been presented to Israel and the Palestinians.
The roadmap represents a starting point toward achieving the vision of two states, a secure State of Israel and a viable, peaceful, democratic Palestine, that I set out on June 24, 2002. It is a framework for progress towards lasting peace and security in the Middle East. Implementing the roadmap will depend upon the good faith efforts and contributions of both sides. The pace of progress will depend strictly on the performance of the parties.
I urge Israelis and Palestinians to work with us and with other members of the international community, and above all directly with each other to immediately end the violence and return to a path of peace based on the principles and objectives outlined in my statement of June 24, 2002. Both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered from the terror and violence, and from the loss of hope in a better future of peace and security. An opportunity now exists to move forward. The United States will do all it can to seize this opportunity. To that end, I have asked Secretary Powell to travel to the region to begin working with the parties so that we can take advantage of this moment.
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