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U.S. Envoy Meets With Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas - 2003-05-05


U.S. Middle East envoy William Burns meets with new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas today (Monday) to discuss the so-called "roadmap" --the latest international peace effort for the region.

Just days after the roadmap was officially unveiled, shuttle diplomacy has already begun. American envoy William Burns is in the region and met late Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other officials.

Mr. Burns says the roadmap requires action and concessions by both Israel and the Palestinians and he called on Israel to ease its clampdown on the Palestinian territories.

The American envoy is expected to tell Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas that his government must move quickly to crack down on Palestinian militants and to curb attacks against Israel.

The roadmap outlines a series of steps each side must take to eventually reach a final peace and usher in an independent Palestinians state envisioned by 2005.

Mr. Burns is paving the way for a visit to the area by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, later this week.

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