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PM Qoreia warns US over guarantees for Sharon

PM Qoreia warns US over guarantees for Sharon

PM refuses any guarantee or promise given to Sharon to detriment of Palestinians

Prime minister Ahmed Qoreia warned the United States Monday against giving his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon, on a visit to Washington this week, any guarantees detrimental to the Palestinians.

"We will not accept any guarantee or promise which is to our detriment from any party, even the United States," PM Qoreia told reporters after the weekly Palestinian cabinet meeting in this West Bank city.

Sharon is due to hold talks with US President George W. Bush at the White House on Wednesday when he will present his controversial "disengagement plan", which includes an evacuation from all Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli media reports have said that the United States will in return not force the Israelis to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders as demanded by the Palestinians.

"We are not against Israeli retreats but what is proposed in Gaza must be part of an overall framework, which includes the end of the occupation, and is accompanied by a retreat from the West Bank as is laid down by the 'roadmap' and other agreements," he said.

PM Qoreia was referring to the floundering internationally backed peace plan which envisages the creation of a Palestinian state next year.

The premier also called for the UN Security Council to adopt a new resolution "stipulating that the retreat from Gaza is included in the framework of international resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict."

Sharon has said that he has no option but to implement unilateral measures such as the Gaza pullout in the absence of any Palestinian partner in the peace process, accusing PM Qoreia of failing to crack down on anti-Israeli militants.

PM Qoreia said that he had been given assurances at a meeting with three senior US envoys at the beginning of the month that "no measures will be taken which prejudice a final status agreement."

ENDS

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