Jerusalem, 27 May 2001

Meeting with US Envoy Burns
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, joined by the Foreign and Defense Ministers, met on Sunday afternoon (May 27) with U.S. Ambassador William Burns. During the meeting the Prime Minister announced that Israel accepts the Mitchell Report.

At the meeting both sides began to discuss the ways of implementing the report, according to the outline specified in it, as follows:

– A total and unconditional cessation of the violence; – A substantial cooling-off period; – Confidence building measures and a resumption of the negotiations.

Ambassador Burns expressed his appreciation for the restraint shown by Israel, despite the inherent difficulties. The Prime Minister stated that Israel will not be able to restrain itself indefinitely, as without a total cessation of the violence no progress can be made.

The Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of adhering to the Mitchell Report – without changes – as a framework for breaking the cycle of violence and returning to the negotiating table.

The Defense Minister gave an overview of the Palestinian terrorist attacks perpetrated since Prime Minister Sharon declared a ceasefire.