Powell Lends Support to Geneva Accord

U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell sent a letter of support to the architects of the Geneva Accord, Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo, who released the text of the accord at the weekend.

In the letter Powell wrote, "The U.S. remains committed to the President's two-state vision and to the road map, but we also believe that projects such as yours are important in helping to sustain an atmosphere of hope in which Israelis and Palestinians can discuss mutually acceptable resolutions to the difficult issues that confront them."

Powell called such discussion "critical, because in the end it is the Israeli and the Palestinian people who will shape the consensus necessary to achieve a two-state solution."

The Geneva Accord will be launched in a ceremony to take place in Geneva on December 1, after the text of the plan has been distributed "to every home in Israel and the Palestinian Authority," Beilin said.

Powell also wrote in his letter that he heard there was to be an official launch ceremony with groups representing civil society and that he would be "interested in hearing how it goes."