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Friday, August 22, 2003

Powell appeals to ARAFAT! for help with "progress on the roadmap"

"I call on Chairman Arafat to work with Prime Minister Abbas and to make available to Prime Minister Abbas those security elements that are under his control so that they can allow progress to be made on the roadmap; end terror, end this violence that just results in the further repetition of the cycle that we've seen so often. It has to end. The Palestinian people, the Israeli people, deserve better. And those who are determined to blow up the roadmap must not be allowed to succeed" -- from Powell's remarks with Kofi Annan, after their meeting yesterday. See the entirety of his statement at the U.S. Department of State website.

According to the New York Times, "The unusual appeal to Mr. Arafat reflected what administration officials said was a growing realization that he remained a force to be reckoned with among Palestinians . . .

'The bombing has forced Abbas to move against terrorist groups sooner than he would like,' an administration official said. 'He needs the additional capability that's in the hands of Arafat.' This official added, however, 'Israel understands that it needs to give Abbas some time and space if they want him to act.'
See also "Abbas, Arafat meet to discuss militants" in the Miami Herald (Knight Ridder). and "Arafat is Still in Charge," an analysis by Ze'ev Schiff in Haaretz.