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Source: Secretary-General
13 April 2004




New York, 13 April 2004 -
Press encounter by the Secretary-General
upon arrival at Headquarters (unofficial transcript)

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Q: On the Middle East, [US] President Bush is expected to give a letter to [Israeli Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon saying that the Israelis don't have to withdraw from all the West Bank settlements. Is this something you think that the US President has the authority to do, and are you concerned by his intention to do that?

SG: Well, we've all agreed to a Roadmap, a Roadmap of the Quartet, including the US, which calls for Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank. I am aware of the Prime Minister's decision to withdraw from Gaza, but that I hope is a first step because there is also the question of what happens to the West Bank. And I hope whatever withdrawal is done in the context of the Quartet's Roadmap, and is not something that will impede the future creation of two states, a viable Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace.

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