U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday that the Geneva Accord "is productive, so long as they adhere to the principles [to] fight off terror, that there must be security, and there must be the emergence of a Palestinian state that is democratic and free."
Bush, who spoke to reporters before meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah, said "we appreciate people discussing peace; we just want to make sure people understand that the principles to peace are clear."
The comments, in addition to those made by his spokesman, appeared to distance the president from the accord, while emphasizing the importance of the road map.
Regarding the road map, Bush said he was committed to his vision of June 24, 2002, adding later that during his meeting with Abdullah, "I also talked about the need for the Israelis to keep in mind that if they support a Palestinian state, which they have told me they do, that the conditions on the ground must be such for a Palestinian state to be able to emerge. And that's why we're continuing to talk to them about the illegal settlements and outposts - illegal outposts and settlements, as well as the fence."
He said it was up to the Palestinians to create a leadership that fights terror.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is slated to meet today with Geneva Accord architects Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabo. Powell yesterday reiterated criticism by Israeli ministers, such as Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, against his planned meeting. "I think it's a quite reasonable thing to do, a quite appropriate thing... for me as secretary of state," Powell said.
Beilin and Abed Rabo met with Jewish leaders in New York yesterday to explain their initiative, while former U.S. president Bill Clinton published an article in USA Today yesterday expressing support for both Geneva and for the People's Voice, the grass roots petition campaign initiated by former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon and Al Quds University President Prof. Sari Nusseibeh.
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