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Text of U.S.-UK letter to Abbas

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Smoke rises over the Palestinian Authority prison during the raid Tuesday.

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS

Israel
United States
Mahmoud Abbas
Great Britain

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The United States and United Kingdom wrote Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on March 8 to complain that the authority was not complying with the agreements under which six detainees were held at the prison in Jericho.

The letter states that unless the Palestinian Authority complied, international monitors would be withdrawn.

The monitors were withdrawn by the United States and Britain Tuesday morning. The Israeli military moved in shortly afterward to attack the facility in what commanders say is an operation to capture the six Palestinians and transfer them to an Israeli prison. (Full story)

The text of the letter to Abbas is as follows:

March 8, 2006

Mr. President:

The Palestinian Authority has never fully complied with basic provisions of the agreement that established the U.S. and UK Jericho Monitoring Mission.

While the six detainees -- Fuad Shobaki, Abmad Sa'adat, lyad Gholmi, Hamdi Qur'an, Majdi Rimawi and Basel alAsmar -- are held in continuous custody at the Jericho prison, the Palestinian Authority has consistently failed to comply with core provisions of the Jericho monitoring arrangements regarding visitors, cell searches, telephone access and correspondence.

Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority has failed to provide secure conditions for the U.S. and UK personnel working at the Jericho Prison. Repeated demarches by our governments to the highest levels of the Palestinian Authority have not resulted in improved compliance with the Jericho monitoring arrangements.

The pending handover of governmental power to a political party that has repeatedly called for the release of the Jericho detainees also calls into question the political sustainability of the monitoring mission.

If the Palestinian Authority would like the U.S. and UK to continue their involvement with the monitoring mission, conditions at the Jericho Prison must be brought into full compliance with the Jericho monitoring arrangements.

Alternatively, the Palestinian Authority can come to a new arrangement with the Government of Israel regarding the disposition of the six detainees. Likewise, adequate measures must be put in place to assure the security of the U.S. and UK personnel working at the prison.

Regrettably, if the Palestinian Authority does not come into full compliance with the Jericho monitoring arrangements and make substantive improvements to the security of the U.S. and UK personnel working at the prison, or come to a new agreement with the Government of Israel, we will have to terminate our involvement with the Jericho monitoring arrangements and withdraw our monitors with immediate effect.

I hope you understand our concerns and the seriousness with which we take this matter.

Signed,

Jake Walles, U.S. Consul General

John Jenkins, UK Consul General

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