Israeli PM promises to uproot outposts, freeze settlement construction

By Xinhua

Jerusalem : Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday that Israel will freeze all construction projects in the West Bank and evacuate illegal outposts in the area.

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Olmert made the remarks at a weekly cabinet meeting, which was held on Monday this week rather than on Sunday, local daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on its website.

Israel will commit to the obligations of the Road Map peace plan, stop building new settlements in the West Bank and remove all unauthorized outposts, Olmert was quoted as saying. The statements symbolized that Israel was to meet key commitments under the Road Map peace plan.

The first stage of the Road Map peace plan, which is being revived in parallel to a U.S.-hosted Mideast conference later this month, requires Israel to freeze construction in West Bank settlements, while the Palestinians are supposed to disarm militants and do more to prevent violence against Israel. The Road Map peace plan was declared in 2002 by U.S. President George W. Bush who called for creating a viable and democratic Palestinian statehood alongside a secure Israel.

The United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, known as the international Quartet, are the four entities that sponsor the implantation of the plan that has stopped in 2003due to violence between Israel and Palestinian militant groups.