• Short Summary

    General Ariel Sharon, the Israeli war hero turned politician, has been in the United States and England explaining his plans for peace in the Middle East.

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    MCU INTERIOR General Ariel Sharon of Israel speaking in London, U.K.

    TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: "Don't you think you're laying yourself open to the charge that you are running on your charisma as the hero of the October war?"

    SEQ. 1: SHARON: "Not my charisma. No doubt, maybe I have certain advantages of that, but I am running for changes."

    REPORTER: "You've been described as a hard-liner, as one who is not keen to give back territory. Is this accurate?"

    SHARON: "I don't think I'm a hard liner. I believe that Israel should be very hard. But when it comes to political definitions I am not hard at all. I have been advocating for years to negotiate with all the Arab countries. I advocate to negotiate with a unified Arab delegation, including the Palestinians, which should represent an Arab consensus about the final peace and about the various phase towards the peace."

    REPORTER: "You say you would prefer to see a Palestinian state combined with Jordan. Could you envisage a situation where there would be three states, Jordan, Palestine and Israel?" Would that be under any circumstances acceptable?"

    SHARON: "I don't see any possibility for three different states. But I would rather prefer to discuss with the Palestinians the future of Jordan than to discuss with King Hussein the future of the West Bank. I don't see at all in Hussein a partner. He isn't a partner; and we have to discuss and to decide about the future of the area with the real partners with whom we have to live in the future."

    REPORTER: "Have you had any contact with Palestinians, inside the occupied territories or outside?"

    SHARON: "I have ... generally speaking, I have contact with the Palestinians, with Arabs. I have and many years ago and I have it...now. And altogether I think that the Arabs would prefer to negotiate with me than with others, and I'll tell you why: I believe that only somebody, and the Arabs understand it, only somebody who will not be suspected for ever to ignore the problems of the security of Israel will be able to come forward with a new approach, and I believe that I can do it. I can stand in Israel and say what I believe, and no-one will ever suspect me of ignoring the security of Israel."

    REPORTER: "It is assumed that the majority of Palestinians are represented by the PLO. Would you consider contacts with the PLO?"

    SHARON: "I would have preferred, of course to talk to sane Arabs or to moderate Arabs But for years I have been advocating to talk to all the Arabs. I don't think it's important though. It's not important with whom you talk, I think it's important what you talk."

    REPORTER: "Realistically, how do you assess your chances? How many seats in the Knesset do you expect?"

    SHARON: "That's very hard. I think... I find it's too early."

    REPORTER: "Do you see yourself as Prime Minister after these elections?"

    SHARON: "I see myself as Prime Minister in the future."

    REPORTER: "Do you think Prime Minister Rabin has missed the boat? Has he failed?"

    SHARON: "I think the government has failed altogether to initiate and to negotiate with the Arab countries. I think Israel should not wait until somebody will enforce a solution. Every enforced solution. Every enforced solution would be bad for Israel. I think Israel should start, and I've been advocating for years to start and talk to all of the Arabs."

    Initials BB/0120

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: General Ariel Sharon, the Israeli war hero turned politician, has been in the United States and England explaining his plans for peace in the Middle East. The General, who formed a new political party called Schlomzion in Israel last November, is contesting the forthcoming parliamentary election in May. In London, he spoke about the elections and his plans for a permanent settlement with the Arab world.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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