Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bush invites Palestinian leader Abbas to White House

Thu, March 27, 2008 -

WASHINGTON — President Bush has invited Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to the White House in an effort to give a kick to Mideast peace talks.

The plan, which envisions talks around the beginning of May, was revealed to reporters on Air Force One by National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe, who was accompanying Bush on a flight to Dayton, Ohio.

“Details are still being worked out,” said Johndroe, who added that the talks would be part of a continuing effort “to work with the Palestinians and the Israelis as well as other countries in the region in realizing a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel.”

Vice-president Dick Cheney returned from the region this week. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaves on Friday for the region, and Bush is expected to go to the Mideast in May. Johndroe, however, said that Bush’s invitation was not spurred by Cheney’s visit. “This is not the result of one specific meeting,” the spokesman said, “but just part of the continuing process that the president has committed to.”

Bush, who has said he believes a peace agreement can be struck before he leaves office next January, called Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak Thursday morning to express regret over a recent naval shooting incident in Egypt and promised to investigate, Johndroe told reporters.(Source)


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