Friday, January 11, 2008

Il Blog di George Bush

The trip to the Middle East got off to a very positive start with the President having constructive meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert Wednesday evening and earlier today (Thursday) with Palestinian Authority President Abbas. Both men are clearly committed to trying to bring about lasting peace and prosperity for the people they were elected to represent, and they demonstrate the resolve necessary to make the hard decisions that will be necessary to reach a historic accord.

All this is leavened with the realization that the challenges they face are rooted in centuries of conflict and their disputes have been stubbornly resistant to resolution. But that realization also serves as a reminder that such historic moments are the product not only of circumstances, but of individuals. Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas each seems to see in the other a counterpart with whom he can work in good faith.
President George W. Bush and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, listen to a reporter’s question Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008, during a joint press availability at in Ramallah.

And both see in President Bush a leader to whom they can turn for some honest brokering. I’ve seen here, and previously in Annapolis, his easy relationships with both leaders enable him to nudge the peace process along. The chemistry is such that it’s hard not to be overcome with hope and optimism, and those sentiments were on display at the press conference following President Bush’s one-on-one visit with President Abbas earlier today in Ramallah.

Tomorrow the President will visit Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum) and the Mount of the Beatitudes on the Sea of Galilee before he and his team leave for the next leg of the trip, Kuwait.


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