For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 12, 2004
U.S. and U.K. Joint Statement Concerning the Middle East Peace Process
The United States and the United Kingdom share a vision of freedom, peace, and democracy for the Broader Middle East. That vision must include a just and peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, based on two democratic states -- Israel and Palestine -- living side by side in peace and security. Now is the time to seize the opportunity of new circumstances in the region to redouble our efforts to achieve this goal. This will require a series of steps which we look forward to taking with our international partners and the parties.
First, we re-commit to the overarching two-state vision set out by President Bush in his statement of June 24, 2002 and repeated in the Roadmap.
Second, we will support the Palestinians as they choose a new President within the next sixty days and as they embark upon an electoral process that will lead to lasting democratic institutions.
Third, following that, the President and the Prime Minister have agreed to mobilize international support behind a plan to ensure that the Palestinians have the political, economic, and security infrastructure they need to create a viable state. There will be no lasting solution without a Palestinian state that is democratic and free, including free press, free speech, an open political process, and religious tolerance. Such a state will need a credible and unified security structure capable of providing security for the Palestinians and fighting terrorism. There must also be effective economic development and transparent financial structures which provide for the economic and social needs of the Palestinian people. The plan will be developed intensively over the coming period of time in concert with all the relevant partners.
Fourth, we endorse and support the disengagement plan of Prime Minister Sharon from Gaza and stipulated parts of the West Bank as part of this overall plan.
Fifth, these steps lay the basis for more rapid progress on the Roadmap as a reliable guide leading to final status negotiations.
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