Bush On Settlement Expansion
(April 5, 2005)
President Bush responded to questions following a meeting of his cabinet. The following was a reference to an Israeli announcement about moving forward with long-planned construction to connect Jerusalem and the town of Ma'aleh Adumim.
Q Mr. President, Prime Minister Sharon has said he intends to expand the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Other officials say no construction is imminent. Are you satisfied? And what will you tell Sharon when you see him about the settlements?
THE PRESIDENT: Our position is very clear that the road map is important, and the road map calls for no expansion of the settlements. I'm optimistic we can achieve a peace in the Holy Land. I'm optimistic because I firmly believe that Ariel Sharon wants to have a peaceful partner, wants there to be a democracy in the Palestinian Territories, and I believe President Abbas wants the same thing. And there's a lot of hard work to be done, but we're making progress. And I look forward to meeting the Prime Minister in Crawford to continue to work with the parties to advance peace.
Source: The White House