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PA hails Bush comments on Palestine

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina says U.S. President George Bush's comments on a Palestinian state were "positive and encouraging."

"There is no doubt that the declarations of President Bush are positive and encouraging since the implementation of the road map necessitates the creation of a Palestinian state with connected territories and on clear bases," Palestinian Radio quoted Abu Rudeina as saying Tuesday.

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"The most important thing is to implement the road map and President Bush's vision which is in harmony with Palestinian demands to establish their state on territories captured by Israel in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital," Abu Rudeina added.

Bush said Monday a peace settlement in the Middle East is within reach and hinted the Palestinian state should have regional and geographic viability.

Bush also called on Israel to freeze the construction of settlements and to help the Palestinians build a free economy.

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