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17 August 2005
PM MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT ABBAS ON COMMENCEMENT OF ISRAELI DISENGAGEMENT
In a message to the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, regarding the Israeli disengagement, on Monday 16 August, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair said:
'I welcome the start this week of Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. This is an historic opportunity that needs to be seized. I have been encouraged by evidence of improved coordination between the parties, but more clearly needs to be done for the Palestinian Authority to make a success of governing Gaza. We strongly support James Wolfensohn in the work he is doing. I know that you do too. Your personal leadership will be crucial. You will have our full support. I look forward to seeing you next month in New York'.