Powell tells Palestinians terror won't produce statehood
Fri Jan 31, 3:36 PM ET
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Palestinians on Friday "they cannot get a state by using violence" and that they must install a new leadership.
At the same time, he renewed the Bush administration's commitment to resolving the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, saying it was the most pressing problem in the Middle East.
Appearing before a national conference of Americans interested in U.S. foreign policy, Powell said the administration would resume its pursuit of a settlement now that Israel had concluded its elections.
He said he had talked by telephone to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who won a new term this week in a lopsided victory over the dovish Labor Party, and that the Bush administration would use a roadmap or formula devised in partnership with the European Union , Russia and the United Nations.
It aims to create a Palestinian state by the year 2005 carved out of land that Israel has held for more than 35 years.
President Bush will become more deeply involved than he was in his first two years in the White House, Powell said.
Sharon, meanwhile, spoke by telephone to Bush whose support for Israel against terror by Palestinians was reflected in Powell's remarks.
"They cannot get a state by using violence to get a state," Powell said.
The State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said, meanwhile, the administration was "assessing how to proceed" with the roadmap.
He said the administration would at least wait out Sharon's formation of a new government.
But, Boucher said, "we want to make clear we want to keep moving."
Sharon is expected to offer the Palestinians far less than his predecessor, Ehud Barak , who was prepared to yield Gaza, virtually all of the West Bank and part of Jerusalem, and to sharply reduce the number of Jews living in the territories.
Even so, Arafat did not accept the offer.
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