Thursday, April 22, 2004

Speaking on behalf of the AAA, here's Scottie Mac:

MR. McCLELLAN: Those statements? No, look, the President will continue to communicate what he said last week. We have a unique opportunity to move forward on the road map, which will lead us to the two state vision that the President outlined. This is a unique opportunity for the Palestinian people to realize their hopes and aspirations for a free and viable and democratic state. And the President made it very clear that when it comes to some of the issues that leaders are bringing up, of final status on settlements and issues of refugees, that those are issues that will be decided in negotiations between the parties.

But it's important to look at the reality on the ground and take that into account as we move forward on that. But this is an opportunity to get the process jump-started again and get us moving forward to a Palestinian state.


MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think Secretary Powell spoke very eloquently to this yesterday, when he was asked about some of those comments. The United States is working to help the people of the Middle East realize their hopes and aspirations, and realize a future that is built on freedom. The President has talked about how we have a freedom deficit in the Middle East. And the President outlined the Greater Middle East Initiative to support the efforts in the region to move forward on democracy and freedom, and to move forward on efforts to realize a better economic future for all people in the region.

So the President will continue to remain actively engaged in getting the parties in the Middle East peace process back together and moving forward toward the two-state vision. And that's the way he viewed the proposal by Prime Minister Sharon last week, that this is an opportunity to get back to moving forward on the road map. And the President has also talked about expanding trade in the region to help lift up the hopes of the people in the region. And so we will continue to communicate how our efforts are there to support the people in the Middle East so that they can realize a better future.

Of course what the White House doesn't mention is the huge 'Here There Be Monsters' section of the map between where they are now and where they're trying to go.

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