European leaders hail Bush ''road map'' statement; One Palestinian shot dead

Published March 15th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

A Palestinian was killed Friday evening in the West Bank village of Azun, next to Qalqilyah. Two other Palestinians were lightly wounded in the incident and arrested.  

 

Elsewhere, an Israeli man was lightly injured Friday from shots fired by Palestinians near the West Bank settlement of Adora, some 10 kilometers west of Hebron.  

 

Meanwhile, President Bush said Friday he would endorse a path toward Palestinian statehood immediately after the confirmation of a Palestinian prime minister.  

 

European leaders praised Bush's move. Palestinian officials said pressure on Israel was required, not further discussion of a so-called "road map" to settlement.  

 

British Prime Minister Tony Blair linked the timing of Bush's White House announcement to the movement toward war with Iraq. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder lined up behind Bush and said his statement was "identical to the European and German position."  

 

The French Foreign Ministry called Bush's initiative "an important step" that could resolve a conflict "in which two peoples are tearing each other apart."  

 

Palestinian parliament speaker Ahmed Qureia said the Palestinians already accepted the "road map." "What is needed now is to immediately unveil the road map and pressure the Israeli government to accept it without any amendments in order to begin implementing it immediately," Qureia said.  

 

In London, Blair said, "I think it is precisely now, when we do have all this focus on the issue of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam and all the things that he has done, ... that we say to the Arab and Muslim world, we accept the obligation of evenhandedness" between Israel and the Palestinians, Blair said.  

 

King Abdullah II of Jordan welcomed Bush's statement. He called for a fair settlement that would guarantee full Arab rights. (Albawaba.com)

© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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