Bush tells Sharon to freeze settlements
US President George Bush has told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to freeze all settlement activity in the West Bank.
Palestinian officials welcomed the statement on Monday but voiced disappointment at comments by Bush that it was unrealistic to expect a full Israeli departure from the occupied territory.
Nevertheless, they welcomed calls by the US leader for Israel to dismantle unauthorised settlement outposts and not to proceed with plans to expand a large settlement called Maale Adumim on the outskirts of occupied Jerusalem.
"We hope that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will hear the appeal of President Bush to halt settlement activity because to continue would mean destroying the vision of two states," chief Palestinian negotiator Saib Uraiqat told AFP.
I believe there must be a bit of a wintery blizzard in Lucifer's "beautiful" home, as for the first time in my short lifetime, a President of the United States is telling an Israeli Prime Minister to stop something. It seems like President Bush may be the "Nixon in China" that people claimed that Sharon may be for the Middle-East. Hopefully something constructive - meaning more than words, even on a paper - will emerge from these new developments. I wonder...
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