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Powell Calls for Disarming Palestinian Militants

Secretary of State Colin Powell on a Middle East mission to promote a U.S.-backed peace “road map,” called on the Palestinians on Sunday to move quickly to disarm militants behind attacks on Israelis. Powell, leading the highest-level U.S. peacemaking effort in more than a year, met Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem and then moved on to talks with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank town of Jericho. Following his meeting with Powell, Sharon made clear that the Palestinians could expect nothing more than modest “humanitarian” gestures from Israel until Abbas’s government cracked down on militants. Palestinian officials said Israel must pull back troops from Arab towns and cities which Israeli forces occupied or blockaded in the past year following a spate of suicide bombings. Full Story

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