President Bush and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak say they support a proposal by Israel to close settlements in Gaza -- but only if it is part of a comprehensive peace plan based on a two-state solution.
The two leaders, meeting at Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas Monday, said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's unilateral plan to close Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip was a positive development in the quest for peace.
The two leaders cautioned, however, that Mr. Sharon's plan must not replace the internationally backed "road map," and reiterated their support for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Mr. Sharon visits Washington Wednesday. He's hoping to get written guarantees of support from Mr. Bush to help him win the necessary backing for the plan within the ruling Likud Party. Should Mr. Sharon get majority support from Likud, he intends to put the plan before the Israeli parliament on May 3rd.
Information for this report is provided by AP.