Israel - 'Road map' peace plan needs to be adapted

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

JERUSALEM -- Israel's foreign minister said Tuesday the United States is determined to publish a Mideast peace plan soon but Israel would seek changes before accepting it.

The Israeli opposition leader, Amram Mitzna, and Palestinian officials said Israel effectively is rejecting the plan, a three-stage "road map" to Palestinian statehood by 2005.

The Americans are "determined to publish the road map," the foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, told Israel Army Radio on Tuesday, a day after meeting with President Bush at the White House.

Shalom laid down a number of conditions for resuming talks with the Palestinians and said "the road map needs to be adapted."

Israel repeatedly has said it accepts the "Bush vision," which is based on a policy speech he delivered June 24, but has balked at embracing the road map drawn up by the "Quartet" -- the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

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