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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: United States of America
25 October 2005

Joint Press Availability With Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Ottawa, Canada


QUESTION: And on Syria, have you asked Canada to take some measures towards them as well?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, in fact, we did talk about what the international community could do to support the work of the Security Council in sending a very strong message to Syria, first of all, that they should not as they have so far be dismissive of this Mehlis report. The attitude of the Syrian Government toward the Mehlis report should be one that they recognize that the international community expects them to take it seriously and cooperate.

Secondly, that the Syrians need to understand that no one will tolerate efforts at or means of intimidation of the Lebanese people in response to this report; and finally, that this is a serious matter for the international community when you have these kinds of charges, and as we move through the next several weeks I know that Minister Pettigrew and the Canadian Government will be supportive of the goals that I just outlined.


QUESTION: Nicholas Kralev with the Washington Times. I'll set a precedent and ask only one question.

The report of James Wolfensohn is out now and one has to make a really big effort not to notice the criticism of Israel in that report. I wonder what your assessment is of it. Do you agree with its findings and are you talking to the Israelis to make sure that the situation actually improves on the ground?

SECRETARY RICE: Yes. And I think that Jim Wolfensohn has had discussions with both parties about what they need to do and it is very clear that the crossings issue needs to get resolved, not just the Rafah crossings but the issues of freedom of movement within the West Bank and issues about other crossings that need to be freed up so that the kind of economic program that we all want to see in the Palestinian territories, that indeed the G-8 signed on to the Wolfensohn plan.

And I took what Jim is saying as simply asking the parties to do everything that they can now that the Israelis are out of the Gaza to make sure that the Gaza is going to be a place that Palestinians can see a different kind of life and therefore start to build the foundations for a Palestinian state.

I know in having talked with Jim many, many times that he believes there are many things that the Palestinians also need to do, and you will note that they are there. And I know that he agrees with us, with the G-8 and with the Quartet, that the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza was an historic step of enormous proportions, that it said something about the commitment of the Israeli people and Prime Minister Sharon to the prospects for peace between the Israeli people and the Palestinian people. That is now -- that is our starting point. We now need to work to make sure that the benefits of that withdrawal are actually realized so that it becomes a step that can accelerate our movement along the roadmap and then ultimately to the establishment of two states.


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