Key to Peace Summit was Presence of Abbas, Absence of Arafat - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/03/03 - Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt

Key to Peace Summit was Presence of Abbas, Absence of Arafat

Secretary of State Colin Powell says the key to President Bush's summit with Arab leaders in Egypt today was that Mahmoud Abbas was there -- and Yasser Arafat wasn't.

Abbas -- the new Palestinian prime minister -- was among five Arab leaders endorsing Bush's peace "road map." That plan includes a Palestinian state and an end to terror attacks on Israel.

The administration has long rejected Arafat as a roadblock to peace.

Powell says Abbas represents "transformed" Palestinian leadership -- committed to cracking down on militants and ending corruption.

Meantime, Powell is warning Arafat not to play a "spoiler" role. He says with Israel and the world community ready to create a state of Palestine, for Arafat to inject himself into the process would be "very, very unfortunate."

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