(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this afternoon (Wednesday), 7 April 2004, spoke with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who had phoned in order to express his support for the disengagement plan and the step that Israel is taking.  UK Prime Minister Blair added that he intends to act within the international community to enlist support for the plan.  Prime Minister Sharon thanked his British counterpart for his support.

Prime Minister Sharon said that he decided to proceed with the disengagement plan because there is no partner on the Palestinian side who is ready to implement the roadmap.  The Prime Minister noted that terror is continuing without the Palestinian Authority (PA) taking any measures to halt it; he stressed that the key to dialogue with the Palestinians is the absolute cessation of terror, violence and incitement and the implementation of reforms by the PA.

UK Prime Minister Blair said that the disengagement plan needs to lead to the international community becoming involved in improving conditions in the PA and making it clear to it that security reforms must be carried out and that terror must be fought.

The two leaders agreed to continue their dialogue after they visit Washington.