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Secretary of State Colin Powell and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Meet in Jerusalem

Aired June 28, 2001 - 15:28   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I am Miles O'Brien at the CNN center in Atlanta. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell have just finished some talks in Jerusalem. Let's go live and listen to the news conference.

ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We welcome Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is visiting the Middle East. I wish to thank him for his unceasing efforts made by him, made by the president and all of their staff to bring peace to the Middle East.

Israel is committed to peace. We are all committed to peace. We've accepted the Mitchell plan, and we've accepted the George Tenet program. We've had a meeting today, where the facts have been presented and discussed. We see the continuation of this as follows -- complete and utter cessation of terrorist actions of violence and of incitement, and as soon as complete quiet exists, there will be seven days of trial or test, in order to see how the Palestinian Authority manages to keep its undertakings.

And then a period will start of six weeks -- a cooling period. And throughout that entire period, complete quiet must prevail. If that does prevail, then we'll proceed to the next stage of confidence- building measures, which I will not specify at the moment.

So we hope that quiet will prevail, and that we will all be able to proceed to peace as quickly as possible.

And again, I thank the president of the United States and the secretary of state for their unceasing efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

Thank you.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister, and thank you for your hospitality this evening. And I have had a very productive 24 hours in the region. And I've had a chance to meet with the prime minister, with the foreign minister, with the president of Israel and with Chairman Arafat.

I applaud very much the prime minister's statement just now of his total commitment to peace and his commitment to the Mitchell plan. The tragic death this afternoon, the assassination -- the killing this afternoon -- this horrible tragedy -- of a young mother, reminds us all over again how we must move forward and get this violence ended, how we must move forward to rebuild trust and confidence between the two sides, how we must move forward toward peace.

In my conversations earlier today with Chairman Arafat, we discussed this in considerable detail. And he responded to me that he would take every effort he could to end the violence, to give the necessary instructions to speak out against violence. And as the prime minister has just said, there will be a seven-day period, starting at some point in the future when quiet occurs, that we will measure the chairman's actions.

And then following that successful seven-day period, which I hope will come about in the very near future, we will move into the Mitchell committee sequence that the prime minister just discussed. And it is a total package that begins with a six-week cooling-off period, and then we move into the additional confidence-building measures over a period of time that we'll not specify right now. But at the end of that confidence-building period, then into discussions on the difficult final status issues.

This is a package, it's a plan, it will work if we can get the violence ended. And so, let that be our strongest wish. Let that also be the object of all of our efforts in the days and in the weeks ahead.

I once again thank the prime minister for receiving me. The second time I have visited here since I became secretary of state. And, of course, I also saw the prime minister in Washington earlier this week, and we talk on the phone on a very regular basis along with my conversations with the foreign minister. And we will keep this dialogue up as we monitor this situation very carefully in the days ahead.

Thank you.

O'BRIEN: We've been listening to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, proceeded by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, having spoken together for some time today in Jerusalem, calling it a productive meeting, Mr. Powell calling it a very productive 24 hours, in fact, on his visit to Israel.

Mr. Sharon, once again indicating his embracing of the Mitchell plan, the plan proposed by former Senator George Mitchell, as well as the George Tenet proposal, the CIA director, which in essence calls for a seven-day cease-fire -- no violence, no terrorists activity -- followed by a six-week cooling-off period, thus laying the stage for a series of confidence-building measures which it is hoped would lead ultimately to the resumption of the peace process.

We are following that trip, we are following those statements, and we will have more for you later right here on CNN.

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