Bush, Sharon meeting ends without agreement on West Bank fence construction
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told a news conference Tuesday after his meeting with US President George Bush that Israel would continue to build the West Bank fence, which has become a disputed issue between the two sides.
Bush, who called the fence a "sensitive" issue and said the two countries would "continue to discuss" it, demanded that the Palestinian Authority launch a "sustained, targeted" assault on "terror" groups.
In an apparent reference to the fence, Bush said he "also urged the prime minister to carefully consider all the consequences of Israel's actions as we move forward on the road to peace." "I would hope in the longer term that the fence would be irrelevant," Bush added. "The fence is a sensitive issue. I understand that."
Sharon said that the issue of the route of the fence had not been discussed in his meeting with the U.S. leader, and that the security fence "will continue to be built with every effort to minimize infringement on the daily lives of Palestinians."
The Israeli leader defended construction of the barrier, insisting Israel had been "forced to construct it to defend our cities." It would help stem potential terror attacks, he added. "This is a factor that will enhance security, and security will make it possible to attain peace." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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