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News Brief

May 10, 2004
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Yasser Arafat said a Palestinian state could be achieved by 2005, despite President Bush’s assertion that the target was unrealistic. The “road map” peace plan’s vision of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by 2005 was “more than realistic, because according to the signed agreements our state should have been declared by 1998 or 1999,” Arafat told reporters on Saturday, referring to interim peace accords with Israel. He spoke to reporters after Bush backed off the road map timetable last Friday in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper, saying it “may be hard” to keep to the 2005 deadline. According to the U.S.-backed plan, the Palestinians were to get a state at the end of a three-year, staged process. So far, however, neither Israel nor the Palestinians have implemented many of the initial steps in the plan.

More than 11,000 people gathered in northern Austria on Sunday to commemorate the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp. The crowds listened to addresses from representatives of former prisoners, the German Press Agency reported. The Nazis murdered more than 100,000 people there before the U.S. Army liberated the camp on May 9, 1945.

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