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Israeli PM Meets with US Delegation - 2004-02-19


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been meeting with a high-level U.S. delegation to discuss his controversial plan for unilateral "disengagement" from the Palestinians.

Mr. Sharon's aides say he planned to give the U.S. envoys a broad overview of his plan to dismantle most of the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and some in the West Bank.

The prime minister has said he will start implementing the plan if peace talks with Palestinians remain stalled. Palestinians say the plan is aimed at imposing a boundary on a future Palestinian state.

The U.S. delegation is expected to urge Mr. Sharon to stick to the internationally backed "road map" peace plan, and to call on Palestinian leaders to stop militant attacks against Israelis.

Wednesday, UN Mideast envoy Terje Roed-Larsen cautioned against a unilateral Israeli pullout, saying such a move would be counter-productive. He said any Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories should be carried out with Palestinian and international cooperation.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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