PM´s Office to Quartet: No Road Map Until PA Fights Terror

The Prime Minister’s Office has responded sharply to pronouncements made yesterday at a London conference attended by the four-party peace-process group known as the Quartet.

, | updated: 8:31 PM

“Israel is of the opinion," Prime Minister Sharon's Office declared, "that all the leaders who participated in the conference should have emphasized that Palestinians must fulfill their obligations to stop terror, and that until then they will not be able to fulfill their national ambitions.”

Sharon's office emphasized that "there will be no progress in the diplomatic process under the Road Map until the Palestinian Authority acts resolutely against terrorism and dismantles the terrorist infrastructure."

While condemning last Friday’s suicide bombing, the Quartet - comprised of the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the U.N. - barely made mention of the Palestinian Authority's commitment to dismantle terrorism.

The Quartet issued a statement calling for the creation of a “truly viable” Palestinian state, not one made of scattered territories. This closely follows the line put forth last week by U.S. President George W. Bush, that a Palestinian state must have “territorial contiguity." The terms “territorial contiguity” and “viable” in relation to a PLO state have become thinly veiled references to Israel’s need to dismantle more settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria in order to accommodate the territorial ambitions of the emerging state.

The Quartet praised Israel’s planned pullout from Gaza and northern Samaria. However, the group insisted that it take place “in a manner consistent with the Road Map," Bush’s stalled initiative from 2003. The Road Map envisions the creation of a PLO state by 2005.

The one-day conference, hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was attended by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan, and senior Arab and European officials, including PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. The purpose of the conference was to strengthen the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas told the conference that the PA was completely ready “to exert 100% effort in the domain of security. To that end, we deployed our troops on the ground and took a final decision concerning the consolidation of the security agencies.”

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom responded to Abbas’ statements on Army Radio, bemoaning the lack of real action on the part of the PA. “I’m very sorry about the hesitations the Palestinian Authority still has regarding the need to fight terrorism," Shalom said. "As long as they do not take the strategic decision to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, we cannot make real progress towards peace."