Delegates to recommend security role for America

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The Independent Online

The document to be adopted by the Palestinian conference today provides for establishment of a US-led security group which will give the Americans a supervisory role over Palestinian security forces in hopes of reassuring Israel.

The group is to be headed by Lieutenant-General William Ward, the security co-ordinator appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and will also include the European Union, Egypt and Jordan.

The statement, obtained by The Independent, says that the security group "will work closely with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to oversee the retraining of the Palestinian security services" as their disparate groups are restructured.

It aims to help the PA "fulfil all of its security-related obligations under phase I of the road map", which provides for the dismantling of the terror infrastructure.

The Blair government hopes that today's meeting, attended by 23 foreign ministers and delegates from international institutions, will bolster the PA and encourage Israel to reciprocate by carrying out its road map commitments.