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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Jack Straw Addresses London Press

Aired April 30, 2003 - 11:49   ET

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

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
JACK STRAW, BRITISH FOREIGN SECY.: ...of land for peace. This then marks a real opportunity for both sides to work together to create a brighter future for the millions of Israelis and Palestinians who have had to live every day under the shadow of indiscriminate violence, as we were so terribly reminded earlier today.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders will now, I hope, be able to back the words of the road map with their deeds. And we wish them well in this endeavor. If the dialogue is to prevail, we'll need visionary leadership and courageous statesmanship from both sides. With Britain, together with the rest of the international community, will do everything we can to support them, including action by us to help the security forces on both sides bear down on the kind of terrible indiscriminate violence from rejectionist groups that we saw overnight.

Thank you.

I'll take questions, please.

Yes, sir.

QUESTION: You are calling for visionary leadership and greater statesmanship, but it's difficult, isn't it, when Hamas has already rejected this. Ariel Sharon has given pretty clear indications that he is likely to reject large parts of this. How are you going to bring the sides that are so far apart together? And to what extent are you relying on the Americans to do so, because nothing will move in the Middle East without the Americans.

STRAW: This is a very difficult situation. Over 3,000 people on both sides of the line have been killed since the intifada was declared at the end of September 2000.

But there is a clear choice here: Either the Palestinian and Israeli peoples continue into this vortex of decline and more violence, or with the help from the international community, they're able to build their way out of it. I believe that overwhelmingly, that the peoples of Israel and the peoples of Palestinian areas want peace. This is the way for that peace to be delivered. Yes, it will be difficult and painful. It may involve compromises on both sides. But as we have seen...

HARRIS: Secretary Jack Straw there, addressing the press there in London. This in the wake of delivery of the road map to peace for the two principal parties in the Middle East, the Palestinian leader, the prime minister now, Mahmoud Abbas, and Ariel Sharon, getting his copy at well.

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