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Source: Secretary-General
20 December 2002

Washington, D.C., 20 December 2002 -
Remarks by US Secretary of State Colin Powell and the
Secretary-General following the meeting of the Quartet
Principals with US President George W. Bush at the White House

Powell: It was a great pleasure to host the Quartet today and Per [Stig Moeller, Foreign Minister of Denmark which currently holds the European Union Presidency], I'm sure, has given you some insight into our discussions. We've just had an excellent meeting with the President, where the President reaffirmed the vision contained in his speech of 24 June of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace. And he also expressed his continued support for our work towards finalizing a roadmap that would help achieve that vision. So I thought it was a good meeting and I would invite the Secretary-General to say a brief word.

SG: I think you've said it all. As you heard in the Oval Office, we are determined to finalize this plan as quickly, as soon as possible and release it to the parties and press ahead. We all agree that that is the only solution. What is also important is that the majority of Israelis and the majority of Palestinians accept that the solution is the two-state solution, living in peace and recognized borders. Our challenge now is to work with them to get there in the next couple of years. And this is what we, as the Quartet, are determined to do. And we are very pleased to also hear the President's strong support for the work of the Quartet and the achievement of his vision.

Powell: I just might add one point and that is we noted with pleasure the British government's efforts to bring parties together next month in London from the Palestinian community and from other interested parties to explore possibilities for transformation within the Palestinian community and how we can be of greater assistance to the Palestinians, not only in a political sense and a transformational sense, but in terms of providing for their human needs as well.

Thank you very much.

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