The Palestinian Authority must reject terrorism in order for the Middle East peace process to move forward.
That was the message from US President George W. Bush after talks with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas.
“In the short term the Palestinian Authority must earn the confidence of its neighbours by rejecting and fighting terrorism,” Bush said in a press conference held in the White House Rose Garden.
“At the same time, Israel should not undertake any activity that contravenes its road map obligations, or prejudices the final status negotiations with regard to Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. This means that Israel must remove unauthorised posts and stop settlement expansion.”
Abbas defended himself, saying he was working on the security problem laid bare by the killing of three West Bank settlers on Sunday in an attack claimed by an offshoot of the Palestinian Fatah movement.
It was the leaders’ first meeting since Israel completed its withdrawal last month.
Abbas was also scheduled to meet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney.