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Background: Cease-Fire Collapses

August 21, 2003 at 12:00 AM EDT


MARGARET WARNER: Now, to the latest developments in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict; we start with Secretary of State Powell’s meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York this morning. Here are some excerpts from their news conference.

KOFI ANNAN: We reviewed the situation in the Middle East and the need to ensure that the parties stay on track with the implementation of the road map, and we also discussed other U.N.-related issues.

COLIN POWELL: The Middle East situation is challenging the international community once again today, and I call upon all of my colleagues in the Security Council at the U.N., other members of the international community, the members of the quartet, Arab nations, to step up now and insist that the terror perpetrated by organizations such as Hamas must come to an end. I call on Chairman Arafat to work with Prime Minister Abbas, and to make available to Prime Minister Abbas those security elements that are under his control, so that they… can allow progress to be made on the road map, end terror, end this violence that just results in the further repetition of a cycle that we’ve seen so often. It has to end. The Palestinian people, the Israeli people deserve better, and those who are determined to blow up the road map must not be allowed to succeed. And you can be sure that the quartet, the United States, the secretary- general as members of the quartet, will continue to work toward that end.

KOFI ANNAN: Mr. Secretary, the Tuesday bombing in Jerusalem, are we at the end of the road map as a result of the new violence?

COLIN POWELL: The end of the road map is a cliff that both sides will fall off of, and so we have to understand the consequences of the end of the road map. So, it is not the end of the road map. I believe both parties understand that a way has to be found to go forward. The alternative is what? Just more death and destruction, let the terrorists win, let those who have no interest in a Palestinian state win, let those who have no interest but killing innocent people win? No, that is not an acceptable outcome. And I think both parties realize it, and I think both sides should recommit themselves to finding a way forward.