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Abbas: We should implement roadmap first phase
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21:15, November 05, 2007

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Monday that both Israel and the Palestinians should be equally committed to implement the first phase of roadmap plan for peace in the Middle East.

Abbas told a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that "we expressed our readiness to implement the first article of the peace plan, while Israel is also asked to implement it equally and in parallel."

Abbas said he is encouraged by the statements made on Sunday by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that there is a real opportunity to achieve peace with the Palestinians.

He revealed that a progress on Israeli-Palestinian talks that comes in preparation for a United State-hosted peace conference will be held in Annapolis.

Meanwhile, Rice refused to speak about a specific date for holding the peace conference in Annapolis, but said "as President George W. Bush said, it will be held before the end of this year."

Both Abbas and Rice expressed hope that Israel and the Palestinians will reach a peace agreement and an independent Palestinian state to be established before President Bush leaves office.

Source: Xinhua

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