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03 May 2004

White House Maintains Support for Sharon Withdrawal Plan

Will consult with Israeli government on moving forward

The Bush administration maintains its support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw Israeli settlements from Gaza and portions of the West Bank despite the rejection of the proposal by Israel's Likud Party.

In a May 2 press release, the White House characterized the plan as "a courageous and important step toward peace" and indicated that it would consult with the Israeli government about how to move forward.

Following is the text of the press release:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
May 2, 2004

STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY

We have been informed of the results of the Likud voting. Our own view has not changed: The President welcomed Prime Minister Sharon's plan to withdraw settlements from Gaza and a part of the West Bank as a courageous and important step toward peace. We will be in consultation with the Prime Minister and the Government of Israel about how to move forward.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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