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Thursday, July 24, 2003

Can you imagine?! -- Abu Mazen met with U.S. House International RelationsCommittee
Mahmoud Abbas, during his first trip to Washington as Palestinian prime minister, on Thursday pledged allegiance to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat despite Washington's and Israel's insistence that Arafat is a hindrance to progress in peace negotiations.

Abbas, who meets President Bush on Friday to discuss the road map for a two-state solution, told members of the House International Relations Committee during a closed session Thursday: "The road map does not say anything about isolating Arafat. Nobody really asked us to do so."

He then added somewhat cryptically, according to one person present: "It's not my government that accepted the road map. It was the previous one of Arafat that accepted it."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), who asked Abbas about his pledges to continue working with Arafat, told The Jerusalem Post she found Abbas's comments "very disturbing."

"I would not say that he greatly impressed too many people in the audience," she said.

Read the rest at JPost.