Sharon claims Abbas losing control
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will tell U.S. President George W. Bush and other administration officials this week that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' control over the Palestinian Authority's territories is collapsing and the armed groups are violating their own calm promises, the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz reported on Monday.
The Israel premier met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over dinner in his hotel in Texas. The two spent around an hour together, in preparation for Sharon's meeting with Bush later in Monday. They discussed the "disengagement" plan, the situation in the PA and the Iranian nuclear threat. Later, Sharon's aides met with Bush administration officials to finalize the preparations.
Meanwhile, Israel's Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz called Abbas on Sunday night to urge him the need to crack down on the armed groups in Gaza Strip, which has launched some 80 mortars and Qassam rockets on settlements since Saturday. The shelling was in retaliation for the killing of three Palestinian youths, who were shot dead by Israeli troops on Saturday afternoon.
Sharon told reporters during his flight predawn on Monday that he viewed the attack on Gaza settlements as a 'blatant violation' of the agreements established at the Sharm el Sheikh summit on Feb. 8 and that he would discuss the matter with Bush.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)