(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

An Israeli team headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Bureau Director, Dov Weisglass, met yesterday afternoon (Monday), March 1, 2004, with US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.  The US team included Deputy National Security Adviser Steve Hadley, National Security Council Middle East Director Elliot Abrams and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns among others.  The Israeli team included Israeli Ambassador to the US Danny Ayalon, National Security Council Chairman Giora Eiland, Prime Minister Sharon’s Diplomatic Adviser, Shalom Turgeman, and Prime Minister Sharon’s Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Gallant.

The meeting lasted approximately five hours and focused on the current Israeli perspective – in detail – regarding the disengagement plan, as well as various possibilities of using the plan to advance US President George Bush’s vision.

The Israeli team also met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell in order to discuss various aspects of the disengagement plan.

The meetings will continue over the next few days in the US and in Israel in order to complete preparations for a meeting between US President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon.