Abbas meets Rice as bombed Gaza Strip crossing reopened
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed hope on Monday that the US would have a fundemental and active role in the peace process, since it is the prominent country within the Quartet Committee.
In a joint press conference with the US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, in Ramallah, Abbas confirmed that the Palestinians are working to implement their commitments under the Road Map peace plan, calling on Israel to do the same, viewing the Road Map as the only way to reach the US president Bush's vision of two-state solution.
Abbas said "We thank the American President for his help to the Palestinian people and the complete American commitment to peace process in the Middle East".
"Tomorrow we will go to Sharm al-Sheikh. There are many issues that we have agreed upon. We hope the Sharm al-Sheikh summit will be positive", Abbas added.
On her part, Secretary Rice said "this is a time of hope, a time we can hope for a better day for the Palestinian and Israeli people both," adding that "we will work to revive the Palestinian economy and achieve peace goal."
"We will be active in security and work for the two sides to go to the Road Map and revive the peace process", Rice said. "There should be no doubt about the commitment of the United States to this process at this time, not doubt about the commitment of the President," she added.
Rice affirmed that the United States would distribute $40 million in aid over the coming 90 days to encourage Palestinian job creation, investment and economic reconstruction.
Rice concluded that the USA intends to name a security monitor in the region, underscoring its commitment to reviving the Middle East peace process.
Meanwhile, Israel on Monday declared that "following security assessments and the rebuilding of Karni crossing, the crossing will be reopened for the passage of agricultural merchandise and humanitarian aid."
The crossing, in the northern Gaza Strip, was closed last month after an attack carried out by Palestinians in which six Israelis were killed and five others were wounded.