Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser Al-Kidwa said that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza does not mark the end of the occupation, and that it is only a small part of the full withdrawal from the occupied territories since 1967.

Al-kidwa added that this withdrawal should be followed by further withdrawals from the occupied territories since 1967, and that Israel should not be controlling the Gaza airfield, and water resources after withdrawal.

Also, Al-Kidwa reported that the US president George Bush, told president Mahmoud Abbas that any changes to the 1979 truce borders should be conducted upon agreement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

“The American statements concerning withdrawal to the truce line, means drawing the lines of the two states, and strengthens the Palestinian position which considers settlements illegal”, al-kidwa added.

Abbas, during his visit to the states, also met with senior US officials, and discussed several issues concerning advancing the Palestinian American relations and insuring the implementation of the Road Map plan.

Al-Kidwa added that Bush told Abbas that he is persistent to achieve his vision of establishing a viable Palestinian independent state with contiguity between its areas, which includes contiguity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

According to al-Kidwa, the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will arrive to the Middle East in the coming weeks to resume the talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.

Rice will also discuss several important issues with the two sides, especially arriving to a mutual agreement concerning arrangements of the Gaza withdrawal, in order to pave the way for further coordination.