Abu Ala welcomes Sharon's pledge to move settlers

24 November 2003
Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) on 24 November said that he was pleased by comments made the previous day by his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon, saying that he would like to see the dismantling of some settlements. Abu Ala told Reuters that the Palestinian Authority 'would welcome an Israeli move to uproot settlers from settlements built on our lands, if it was part of a package that leads to the full implementation of the road map and the dismantling of the fence'. Abu Ala added that all parts of the controversial 'security fence' that infringe on Palestinian land would have to be dismantled.

In an interview with the local daily Maariv, published on 23 November, Sharon said that he believed dismantling settlements in remote or unprotected locations as being 'in the national interest'. 'These are steps that can be taken without undermining security and their purpose is to make things easier for us and not for others,' he was quoted as saying.

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