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Rice Remarks With Israeli PM Before Meeting

Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Before Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Prime Minister's Office
Jerusalem
February 6, 2005

PRIME MINISTER SHARON: (unofficial translation from Hebrew) We are happy to host the U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Rice. Dr. Rice knows Israel very well, its problems, and I am sure that her visit here will contribute both to advancing relations between the two countries, of traditional friendly relations over many years. And her visit, I believe, will contribute to the peace process, that we so much want to advance in the region. So again, welcome. Madam Secretary, you are among friends here.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister; I know that. I bring greetings to you from President Bush, and I just want to say that of course the relationship between the United States and Israel is based on such a firm foundation because we share not just interests but values. I look forward to working with you to try to advance the cause of peace and to overcome the scourge of terrorism. I will of course travel tomorrow to meet also with President Mahmoud Abbas, and I look forward to working with him. And we are very glad that you will meet with him in [Sharm el-Sheikh] on Tuesday. This is a hopeful time, but it is a time also of great responsibility for all of us to make certain that we act on the words that we speak.

Thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER SHARON: Thank you.

2005/135

Released on February 6, 2005

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