RealNews

Sharon to End Some Settlements; Abbas Renounces Use of Terrorism

President Bush today brought together Ariel Sharon, the prime minister of Israel, and Mahmoud Abbas, the new Palestinian prime minister, who committed to the first steps of a new international peace plan that envisions two independent states along the Jordan River, Israel and Palestine, and an end to decades of bloodshed in the Middle East. On a brilliant, sweltering afternoon on the Gulf of Aqaba, Mr. Sharon pledged immediately to begin dismantling some “unauthorized outposts” of settlements that have been set up on West Bank hilltops to extend and tighten Israel’s grip on the land where Palestinians want to carve out a state. Mr. Abbas for the first time explicitly declared that “the armed Intifada must end,” a reference to the 32-month Palestinian uprising against Israel. For his part, Mr. Bush thrust himself into the role of Middle East peacemaker that American presidents have played for the past quarter century, but that he himself had avoided until now. Full Story

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