Photo: Reuters
Sharon and Condi – public support
Photo: Reuters

U.S. backs Sharon campaign

Even during sensitive election time, U.S. Administration does not hide support for prime minister. During CNN interview, secretary of state says PM ‘is somebody with a vision for a better life for Israelis based on a two-state solution’

WASHINGTON – The Bush Administration does not hide its public support for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon even during the sensitive election campaign period.


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lauded PM Sharon during an interview on CNN Tuesday, praising Israel’s leader for his courage.


“He's been very courageous in his decision to withdraw from the Gaza and to do it, to disengage, to do it despite a lot of criticism and a lot of skepticism,” Rice said. “Personal courage matters and this man matters.”


“The president said some time ago, we believe that Prime Minister Sharon is somebody with a vision for a better life for Israelis based on a two-state solution,” Rice added.


The American secretary of state in fact repeated the Administration’s message regarding Sharon voiced following the Gaza disengagement, but Rice is well aware of the importance of this message at this time, particularly when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asks her about Sharon’s importance for the peace process.


When asked how worried should Israel be over recent Iranian threats, Rice said “everybody ought to be worried about an Iranian President who says these outrageous things and then expects the world to somehow trust Iran with nuclear technologies that could lead to a nuclear weapon.”


'We all wish him the very, very best'


Curiously, newly elected Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu has to contend with an American support for his elections rival for the second time. In 1999, the Clinton Administration made every effort to assist the Labor party’s Ehud Barak, who emerged as the eventual winner.


Asked about Sharon’s health, Rice said “we've talked to people and to his people and they say he's doing well. And of course, we all wish him the very, very best.”


Earlier, Sharon had a long conversation with President George W. Bush, who said he hoped to see a much slimmer PM in their meeting in about two months.


During the conversation, the American leader advised Sharon to improve his eating habits, exercise, and work less.


פרסום ראשון: 12.21.05, 08:08
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