Palestinians call off US visit
GAZA: A planned trip to Washington by Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath has been put off indefinitely because of US President George W. Bush’s declared support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan, Palestinian radio said on Saturday.
“In view of the American positions, the Palestinian Authority needs time to determine a new strategy,” the radio added, explaining the postponement of the planned April 23 trip.
Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei on Wednesday termed as “unacceptable” Bush’s stand, which ruled out both the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and an end to all Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories. “We cannot accept that,” Qorei said. “This will be decided in negotiations. It cannot be decided by the president of the United States what is realistic and what is not realistic.” Shaath was originally expected to see senior US officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell. —AFP