Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
June 4, 2003 - 12:00am

Washington DC, Jun. 4 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today welcomed progress on Middle East peace at the Aqaba summit and urged all parties to redouble their efforts to implement phase one of President Bush's road map. ATFP praised President Bush for his efforts to create new momentum towards a negotiated settlement of the conflict and reiterated its support for the roadmap. ATFP President Dr. Ziad Asali said, "We applaud the resident's efforts on behalf of peace, and we strongly urge him to continue to press for the full implementation of the roadmap by both parties." He added that "peace between Israel and the Palestinians is a major national security goal for the United States and is in the interests of not only the people of the Middle East but Americans as well. The President should make it clear to both Palestinian and Israeli leaders that we expect their cooperation on peace and should not allow extremists on either side to derail movement towards the implementation of the roadmap."

ATFP noted positive statements by both Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressing their commitment to reaching a negotiated settlement to the conflict. ATFP pointed out that while the Palestinian side has accepted President Bush's roadmap as published, the Sharon government has only agreed to abide by its own interpretation. Prime Minister Abbas pledged to work towards "a complete end to violence and terrorism," while Prime Minister Sharon spoke of dismantling "unauthorized" outposts. ATFP welcomed Prime Minister Sharon's endorsement of President Bush's vision of 2 states living side by side in peace and security, but noted that the Israeli government has yet to accept its main responsibility under phase one of the President's plan, a total freeze on all new settlement activity. ATFP emphasized that a sustained commitment by the United States is an essential to creating a genuine peace in the Middle East.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017