BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: World: Middle East  
News Front Page
Middle East
South Asia
From Our Own Correspondent
Letter From America
N Ireland
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Bush's Middle East demands
Israeli tank in Ramallah
There was no call for Israel to halt its military incursions
President George W Bush has delivered his long-awaited statement on America's recipe to resolve the Middle East conference. BBC News Online summarises the key points.

  • Palestinian state

    The Palestinians are to be offered a "provisional state" contingent upon a change of leadership, the instigation of sweeping reforms and a cessation of violence.

    "A Palestinian state will never be created by terror. It will be built through reform," Mr Bush said.

    The US president said provisional Palestinian statehood would take about 18 months to come into being, while negotiations about permanent borders would be expected to be completed within three years.

    Missing from the address was a firm timetable or details of exactly what the parameters of such a state would be.

    Mr Bush did say, however, that a final settlement should eventually be on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which cites the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and calls on Israel to withdraw from territories occupied in the war of 1967.

  • Final status issues

    There were no details of a final settlement. Key issues such as borders of the new state, the status of Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees are to be left for negotiations between the two sides.

    There was also no mention of the crucial issue of a removal of Israeli settlements.

  • Leadership and reforms

    The Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was not mentioned by name, but Mr Bush made it clear that he expected reforms to include Mr Arafat's removal from power.

    The US president called for a "new and different leadership" and told the Palestinian Authority to carry out major democratic changes and rid itself of corruption.

    Reforms should include:

  • A new constitution, free elections, fully empowered parliament, local-level governments and independent judiciary

  • Financial reforms, including independent auditing to ensure "honest enterprise"

  • An externally supervised overhaul of security and police forces

    He said the US and European powers would assist the effort for reform and the push to hold elections over the next year.

    But the address was vague about the practicalities of how the US would help the Palestinians pursue these reforms.

    And it was not clear what standards would be applied to measure the extent of the reforms and who would judge the efforts.

  • Israel

    Mr Bush said he expected "Israel to respond and work toward a final-status agreement" as new Palestinian leaders and reforms emerged.

    But he did not repeat a call to Israel to halt military incursions into Palestinian areas, which he described as self-defence

    There was nothing about sequencing in the address. But Mr Bush did say that once progress had been made toward security Israeli forces would need to withdraw fully to positions they held before September 28, 2000. This should free up about 40% of the West Bank.

    The US president also said that as violence subsides Israel should allow freedom of movement for the Palestinians and release frozen Palestinian revenues.

    The address also said that as "we make progress toward security... Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories must stop."

  • Middle East conference

    Mr Bush did not mention an international conference on the Middle East that the United States and others had envisaged convening this summer.

  • Regional powers

    He repeated a call for all states in the region to end their support for what he described as terrorist groups - Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

    He said Syria must "choose the right side in the war on terror".

  • Key stories




    See also:

    26 Jun 02 | Middle East
    26 Jun 02 | Middle East
    26 Jun 02 | Americas
    26 Jun 02 | Middle East
    Internet links:

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.

    E-mail this story to a friend

    Links to more Middle East stories

    © BBC ^^ Back to top

    News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
    Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
    Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |