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Quartet Speaks Out On The Middle East

Representatives of "the Quartet" -- the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations -- issued a statement congratulating "the Palestinian people on an electoral process that was free, fair, and secure." The Quartet also said that the future Palestinian government must be committed to the steps, or roadmap, that will lead to peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbor.

The terrorist group Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections. Hamas is responsible for dozens of suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of people in Israel.

In its statement, the quartet said that "The Palestinian people have the right to expect that a new government will address their aspirations for peace [and] statehood." The statement welcomed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' affirmation that the Palestinian Authority is committed to a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The statement by the Quartet expressed "concern over the fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority and urged measures to facilitate the work of the caretaker government to stabilize public finances." The statement also said "It was inevitable that future assistance to any new government would be reviewed by donors against that government's commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations."

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice says "Those who have been elected by the Palestinian people have an obligation. . . .to speak to the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a better life and for a peaceful life":

"That peaceful life can, the quartet has reiterated, be achieved only through a two-state solution that recognizes the right of Israel to exist, that is a commitment to nonviolence, that undertakes the obligations of the roadmap."

Secretary of State Rice says, "It is the assessment of all of us that the best possible life will come in the context of a two-state solution in which both Israel and the Palestinians are able to live side by side in peace, and in order to do that," she says, "there are certain practicalities that have to be accepted and certain principles that have to be accepted by any government."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.