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Powell Sees Israel Committed to Aiding Palestinian Vote

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Monday that he had won a commitment from Israel to let Palestinians living in Jerusalem take part in elections in January and to ease conditions in the West Bank and Gaza so that they can more easily vote there as well.In what is likely to be his final foray to the Middle East before leaving office, Mr. Powell also conferred with Palestinian leaders, praising them for their efforts to reform their government, work with the Israelis to plan for the elections and begin a process to draw militant groups into electoral politics. “I’m pleased with the level of coordination and cooperation that exists between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to make sure that those elections can be held,” he said outside an election office in Jericho, where he heard a progress report on Palestinian efforts to get 1.7 million voters to the polls.Full Story

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