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Israel 'Will Facilitate Palestinian Elections' - 2004-11-22


Israel Monday assured visiting U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell that it will do everything it can to enable Palestinians to vote in January elections to choose a Palestinian Authority president to succeed Yasser Arafat.

Mr. Powell asked Israel to help ensure the elections can take place without interference. He met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and then with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in Jerusalem.

Mr. Shalom said Israel will adjust its restrictions on Palestinians' freedom of movement and other conditions that could affect the elections.

Mr. Powell, who also met with the new interim Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Jericho, says the United States supports Palestinian elections scheduled for January ninth.

Washington hopes Mr. Powell's visit will revitalize Mideast peace efforts.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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