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ADC Welcomes Administration Commitment to Palestinian Statehood

Washington D.C., May 9 — the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee(ADC) today warmly welcomed remarks by President Bush committing himself, his Administration and the United States to peace in the Middle East based on the creation of a Palestinian state. In his remarks at the commencement at the University of South Carolina today, the president promised that, “If the Palestinian people take concrete steps to crack down on terror, continue on a path of peace, reform and democracy, they and all the world will see the flag of Palestine raised over a free and independent nation.” He also insisted that, “as progress is made toward peace, Israel must stop settlement activity in the occupied territories.”
ADC also welcomed news that Secretary of State Colin Powell would be traveling this evening to the Middle East to promote this commitment to working towards an end to the occupation. The President said, “Secretary Powell leaves on this mission tonight. He carries with him my personal commitment: America will work without tiring to achieve two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in security and prosperity and in peace.”
ADC president Ziad J. Asali said, “we are gratified to hear the President place so much emphasis in his remarks today on the need to base peace in the iddle East around the creation of a Palestinian state which can live alongside Israel in tranquility. The cycle of violence which has gone on for so many years continues, and the international community, particularly the United States, will have to play a vigorous and proactive role in bringing the parties back to the negotiating table. Extremists in the region, including Ministers in the Israeli Cabinet, and even some people here in United States have been working night and day in recent weeks to undermine the president’s roadmap and vision for peace. The president’s comments today were clearly a udiation of those efforts to stall, distract or discourage the administration’s commitment to that roadmap and that vision.”
Dr. Asali concluded, “if our government remains steadfast in its commitment s the President today promised, and if our policies are based on the vision he has once again articulated, there is every reason to hope that this devastating conflict can finally be brought to an end.”