US Secretary of State Colin Powell is calling on Israelis and Palestinians to act quickly on pledges made by their prime ministers at today's (Wednesday's) summit meeting with President Bush in (Aqaba) Jordan.
Speaking to reporters at King Hussein International Airport, Mr. Powell said U-S officials have asked both sides to, in his words, "start doing things right away."
During the talks, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pledged to start removing unauthorized Jewish settler outposts from the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas promised to end the military uprising against Israel's occupation of the territories.
President Bush met with the prime ministers in a bid to advance the internationally-backed "road map" plan for Middle East peace, which envisions creation of a Palestinian state by 2005.
In statements after today's talks, both prime ministers said they support two states living side by side in peace and security.
In his own statement, President Bush said the sides had made "important progress," and that he expected each to keep their promises.
Mr. Bush said John Wolf, a veteran State Department diplomat, will lead a US monitoring team to check whether Israel and the Palestinians are meeting their obligations under the road map plan.
After the summit, the president traveled to Doha, Qatar to meet with U-S troops involved in the war in Iraq.
Despite the Palestinian leader's call for an end to violence, the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have reaffirmed that armed resistance to the Israeli occupation will continue. Both groups call for the destruction of Israel and have claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks on Israelis.