Sharon: No Discussions on Settlements until Final Status Talks - Herb Keinon

(Jerusalem Post) - There is absolutely no reason now to discuss the settlement issue, and it will come up during the final status negotiations with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the cabinet Sunday. Sharon's statement comes amid signals that there will be heavy pressure placed on Jerusalem during the early stages of the road map to freeze settlement construction. The road map calls for Israel to "immediately" dismantle settlement outposts erected since March 2001 and calls for Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including construction for natural growth, following a comprehensive cease fire. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Israel supports the road map as long as it faithfully represents President Bush's June 24 Middle East vision speech. Shalom said Israel rejects the Palestinian interpretation of the road map that maintains that the Israeli and Palestinian steps must be taken in parallel. "Fighting Palestinian terrorism is a condition for progress," Shalom said. Israel will not agree to a situation where Palestinian terror will accompany negotiations.

2003-04-07 00:00:00

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