Sharon Meets With U.S. on 'Disengagement'
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday briefed senior U.S. officials on his proposal to withdraw from most of the Gaza Strip and perhaps parts of the West Bank in the absence of an agreement with the Palestinians. Sharon spent three hours with the U.S. delegation, giving the visitors an overview of his “disengagement plan,” and explaining his reasons, his office said. The program is a contingency plan, to be implemented only if efforts to restart the U.S.-backed “road map” peace plan fail, Sharon adviser Raanan Gissin said. Sharon remains committed to the road map and U.S. President George Bush’s vision of Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side, a statement by his office said. Israel and the United States would maintain an intensive dialogue, ahead of what the statement said was an “impending” visit by Sharon to Washington. Full Story