Moving forward

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Thank you Secretary of State Rice!

I share the sentiments of the American Task Force on Palestine...

ATFP CONGRATULATES SECRETARY RICE ON GAZA ACCORD, URGES CONTINUED U.S. ENGAGEMENTWashington, DC, November 15, 2005 - The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) congratulated today U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Quartet envoy James Wolfensohn, European Union High Representative Javier Solana, Israel and the Palestinian Authority for reaching agreement on Gaza's border crossings, as part of a six-point accord dealing with Gaza's access to the outside world by land, sea and air. The accord reached was only made possible by intensive and sustained U.S. engagement, spearheaded by Secretary Rice's personal involvement in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.The implementation of this important agreement will be a critical first step in the rehabilitation of Gaza's economy and the providing of much-needed relief for the Palestinian people. It will also establish a vital link between Gaza and the West Bank, all issues crucial to paving the way for future progress between Israel and the Palestinians."The indispensable role of a sustained and active U.S. engagement was confirmed today," said ATFP president Dr. Ziad Asali. "What is most critical now is that U.S. engagement remain at its current level through the implementation of the agreement and leading up to the establishment of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state alongside Israel as laid out in the Roadmap." Dr. Asali also called on both sides to live up to their respective responsibilities in ensuring the agreement's success. "An ending of the closure of Gaza and the resulting improvement in Gaza's economic situation is in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians and will reflect positively on both the security and political fronts."

www.americantaskforce.org--- for more.