For Immediate Release
April 15, 2004
From remarks by President Bush with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, 4/14/04
The policy of the United States is to help bring peace to the Middle East and to bring hope to the people of that region.
The heart of the Roadmap is the responsibility of all parties -- of Israel, of the Palestinian people, of the Arab states -- to fight terror, to embrace democracy and reform, and to take steps toward peace.
Israel plans to remove certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and certain military installations and settlements from the West Bank. These are historic and courageous actions. If all parties choose to embrace this moment they can open the door to progress and put an end to one of the world's longest running conflicts.
This opportunity holds great promise for the Palestinian people to build a modern economy that will lift millions out of poverty, create the institutions and habits of liberty, and renounce the terror and violence that impede their aspirations and take a terrible toll on innocent life.
The Palestinian people must insist on change and on a leadership that is committed to reform and progress and peace.
The United States is committed to Israel's security and to preserving and strengthening Israel's self-defense capability, including its right to defend itself against terror.
The United States will not prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations.
The goal of two independent states has repeatedly been recognized in international resolutions and agreements, and it remains the key to resolving this conflict.