Jerusalem, May 17, 2003

Meeting Between PM Ariel Sharon and Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu-Mazen) met this evening at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. At the opening of the meeting, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed his outrage at the Hamas terrorist attack earlier in Hebron.

Prime Minister Abbas expressed his regrets over the attack.

Also present at the meeting, which lasted approximately 3 hours, were the Chief of the Prime Minister’s Bureau, Dov Weissglas, the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary, Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant, the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Adviser, Shalom Tourgeman, and Media Adviser Arnon Perlman.

From the Palestinian side the meeting included Chairman of the Legislative Council, Ahmed Karia, and Minister of State Muhammad Dahlan. During the meeting, there was an exchange of opinions between the parties with regard to the manner in which to proceed. The parties agreed that a cessation of terrorism is a first and vital step to any progress, and the Palestinians promised to make a true and genuine effort to put a stop to terrorism.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Prime Minister Abbas agreed to meet again soon after Prime Minister Sharon’s return from the United States.

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May 18, 2003: Due to the wave of terror attacks, PM Sharon has decided to postpone his departure for planned meeting with US President Bush in Washington. PM Sharon will hold discussions and assessments with relevant officials.