Sharon, Abbas pledge action at summit
Sharon says Israel will remove outposts, Abbas calls for end to intifada
AQABA, Jordan (CNN) -- Israeli and Palestinian leaders Wednesday set down a fresh new vision of achieving Middle East peace, with Ariel Sharon backing the formation of a Palestinian state and the removal of unauthorized settlements and Mahmoud Abbas rejecting the use of violence to achieve Palestinian goals.
Speaking after a summit with U.S. President George W. Bush and Abbas, the Palestinian Prime Minister, Prime Minister Sharon said that Israel will "immediately" begin to remove unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank.
"It is in Israel's interest not to govern the Palestinians, but for the Palestinians to govern themselves," Sharon said. (Transcript)
Abbas said the Palestinian Authority denounces the use of violence to achieve Palestinian goals and called for an end to the armed intifada that has rocked the region since September 2000.
"There will be no military solution to this conflict," Abbas said, saying it is "inconsistent with our religious and moral traditions." (Transcript)
Speaking after the two leaders, President Bush said the removal of unauthorized Israeli settlements and the end of Palestinian terror must be addressed immediately for Mideast peace to be achieved.
The Holy Land, said Bush, must be shared between the Palestinians and Israel, and "both must make tangible, immediate steps toward this vision," Bush said. (Transcript)
Both parties have agreed to implement the early steps outlined in the so-called road map for peace, and will move to improve political and security consultations with the aim of resuming full-scale peace talks down the road, a U.S. official said earlier Wednesday. (Interactive: The Middle East 'road map')
Bush met separately with Sharon and Abbas before all parties gathered for trilateral talks.
Hamas leader undecided on cease-fire
The leader of the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization Hamas told CNN on Wednesday his group has not decided whether it will cooperate with any calls for a cease-fire.
"We are still discussing this issue among the movement around here and outside in all places where the movement exists," Abu Shanab said.
He said Hamas leaders would meet with Abbas -- popularly known as Abu Mazen -- after Wednesday's summit "to decide on which way to go."
"We did not give a final decision on the issue until we discuss it deeply with Mahmoud Abbas," Abu Shanab said.
Hamas has been labeled by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization. The group's military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as well as attacks against the Israeli military.
Bush arrived in Aqaba after meeting with Arab leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Tuesday. The leaders promised to fight terrorism and help work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
While in Egypt, Bush said Israel "must deal with the settlements" and the Palestinians must not allow "a few terrorists" to thwart Middle East peace. (Full story)
Those issues are goals of the first of three phases outlined in the road map, developed by the so-called Mideast Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United States and the United Nations.
"The world needs to have a Palestinian state that is free and at peace, and therefore my government will work with all parties concerned to achieve that vision. I believe now is the time to work to achieve the vision," Bush said in Egypt.
"Israel must deal with the settlements," he said. "Israel must make sure there is a continuous territory the Palestinians can call home."
The leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain and the Palestinians all vowed Tuesday to cut off funding for terrorist groups.
"We will use the full force of the law to stop funds getting to illegal organizations, including terrorist groups," Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said after the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.
-- CNN correspondents Kelly Wallace in Gaza, John Vause in Jerusalem and John King in Aqaba contributed to this report.