Powell Calls for Reformed Palestinian Leadership

(State Department) Secretary of State Powell said Wednesday: "We are committed to creating a Palestinian state that will have reformed, responsible leadership, a state that will be contiguous, coherent, that lives in peace with the State of Israel. We know that this has to be accomplished by the two sides talking to one another, negotiating with each other, especially on those final status issues. The United States cannot impose a solution. Neither can anyone else. We can work for a solution, and that's what we're trying to do now." "Prime Minister Sharon has put forward an interesting plan that would remove settlements, all 21 settlements from Gaza, and begin the removal of settlements from the West Bank, beginning with four settlements. I think this is a good start, and I hope that the Palestinians will realize the opportunity that exists here and begin to prepare themselves, their political leadership, and their security forces to take responsibility for Gaza." "Arafat, frankly, has been a problem. He has been a hindrance. He has not taken advantage of the opportunities presented to him. We've made it clear. That's why I said earlier we need reformed Palestinian leadership."

2004-06-04 00:00:00

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