Weisglass Takes Road Map Doubts to White House: U.S.-Israeli Discord Disclosed

(Jerusalem Post) Nathan Guttman - The prime minister's bureau chief, Dov Weisglass, presented Israel's reservations regarding the U.S. road map for Middle East peace to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in Washington Monday. It was made clear that the Americans do not fully accept Israel's reservations with regard to at least one of the central points - the order of events. President Bush is apparently of the opinion that there should be simultaneous momentum at all levels and that there is no need for step to follow step. However, America is convinced that the Palestinians must prove the seriousness of their actions against the terrorists as a condition for progress. The litmus test will be in the field and in the powers given to the new PA prime minister and interior minister over the security forces. (Ha'aretz) Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem are pessimistic that the U.S. will formally accept Israel's reservations to the road map. The administration has made it clear it wants to see implementation of the road map, and that an Israeli insistence on the reservations now would only lead to a diplomatic confrontation with the U.S. By immediate implementation of the road map, the U.S. expects Abbas to begin collecting illegal weapons and arresting Hamas activists. When this begins to happen, the officials said, Washington will expect Jerusalem to start dismantling settlement outposts that were established after March 2001, when Sharon first took office.

2003-04-15 00:00:00

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