White House Report, April 13: Sharon, Iraq, Mexico, Guatemala

 

Tuesday April 13, 2004

Bush to discuss withdrawal plan with Sharon, Cuba human rights with Fox

BUSH TO DISCUSS ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL PLAN WITH SHARON

"The president looks forward to his April 14 meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Prime Minister Sharon has talked about some ideas that have the potential to be historic, and the president looks forward to discussing those ideas with him," said McClellan.

Sharon recently proposed a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank as part of a plan of disengagement from the Palestinians.

"It is important to look at Sharon's plan within the context of the road map and the two-state vision that President Bush outlined," McClellan said. "Any such withdrawal plan should be part of moving forward on the road map."

The road map, a plan released by President Bush March 14, 2003, calls for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a series of reciprocal proposals between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority over a period of time.

U.S. WANTS U.N. TO HAVE ROLE IN IRAQ

"Let me be clear, we want the United Nations to play a vital role in Iraq's future." White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told reporters April 13.

Discussing current efforts by the United Nations in Iraq, he said the world organization is involved in helping with the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq.

"Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. envoy, is working with Iraqi officials and coalition leaders on a plan for the transfer of sovereignty and what the interim government will look like," McClellan said. "We are moving forward on the transfer of sovereignty by the June 30 deadline, and we are working closely with the United Nations and Iraqi leaders on an interim representative government that will assume responsibility for Iraq during the transition period before elections are held."

Asked if the president will increase the number of troops in Iraq, the press secretary said "the president looks to our commanders to make the determination about the troops and resources needed to do their job. We will make sure they will have what they need to do their job."

BUSH DISCUSSES CUBA'S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD WITH FOX

"President Bush spoke with President Vicente Fox of Mexico this morning and the two leaders discussed issues now before the [U.N.] Human Rights Commission in Geneva. They agreed on the importance of passing a Cuba resolution at that meeting and working together to improve the human rights situation in Cuba," the press secretary said.

The Commission on Human Rights began its annual six-week March 12 and is scheduled to end April 23.

"The president also expressed his condolences to President Fox for the losses suffered by families in the recent floods in Mexico," McClellan said.

According to news reports, over 200 people were evacuated from their homes in Piedras Negras, Mexico, April 6 due to flooding. Mexican officials estimate that 50 people have died from the flash flood.

BUSH TO MEET WITH GUATEMALAN PRESIDENT AT WHITE HOUSE

"The president will welcome Guatemala's President Oscar Berger on April 30," McClellan said. "President Bush looks forward to discussing with President Berger the many ways we can continue to advance our common agenda through good governance, human rights, and free trade.

"The president values the long standing ties of family and friendship which unite Central America and the United States."

 

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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