Skip to comments.Bush unsure of Palestinian statehood before 2009
Posted on 10/20/2005 6:54:15 PM PDT by Alouette
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush said that Palestinians might not have an independent state before he leaves office in January 2009, but urged them to crack down now on extremists who target Israel.
After talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, Bush renewed his support for Palestinian statehood bit did not second his guest's call for an immediate resumption of talks under the US-backed "roadmap" to peace with Israel.
"I believe that two democratic states living side by side in peace is possible. I can't tell you when it's going to happen. It's happening," Bush said during a joint appearance with Abbas in the White House Rose Garden.
"If it happens before I get out of office, I'll be there to witness the ceremony. And if doesn't, we will work hard to lay that foundation so that the process becomes irreversible," the US president told reporters.
"I'm a heck of a lot more confident today than when I was when I first came into office," said Bush, who praised Abbas's efforts to crack down on anti-Israel violence but said more action was a precondition for peace.
"The way forward must begin by confronting the threat that armed gangs pose to a genuinely democratic Palestine," said the US president, echoing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's position.
At the same time, he warned Israel to stop expansion of settlements in Palestinian territories and said "we hold people to account for their promises made on the roadMap" -- a reference to the blueprint for peace drafted by the United States, United Nations, Russia, and European Union.
Despite his show of optimism about Palestinian statehood, Bush seemed to be qualifying comments he made just after his reelection in November 2004, when he said: "I would like to see it done in four years. I think it is possible."
Abbas hailed Bush's assistance in building up the tattered Palestinian economy, as well as in bolstering Palestinian security forces and said "we are truly in need of help" from Washington to continue.
Abbas, who in May became the first Palestinian leader welcomed to the Bush White House, said it was time to "immediately" take steps to implement the roadmap. Israel has said the Palestinians must first crack down on terrorism.
The Palestinian leader said Israel must end settlement activity and must lift travel restrictions such as roadblocks that "turned the lives of Palestinians into hardship, suffering, humiliation."
Abbas also criticized the construction of what Israel calls a security barrier, and urged the release of Palestinian prisoners.
At the same time, he asked Israel "to join us in a real partnership for making peace" without elaborating.
The US president said he would "in the coming days" name a new official to help the Palestinians on security issues, replacing General William Ward whose term is about to end.
He also said he would seek to extend to early 2006 the mandate of former World Bank chairman James Wolfensohn, who has been helping to find ways to built the Palestinian economy.
Neither Bush nor Abbas specifically mentioned the feud over whether the Islamist militant group Hamas should be able to take part in the Palestinians' January legislative elections.
But Abbas, after a reference to a halt in attacks on Israel, said that "all groups are on their way to the electoral process, so all groups will become a part of the political Palestinian fabric."
Washington has sent mixed messages in public about whether the group should be able to take part. Israel opposes Hamas participation.
An official in Sharon's office later told AFP that Israel was "not surprised" by Bush's comments on settlements.
"But you cannot put this on the same level as his demand, addressed to the Palestinians in the White House, to respect their commitments to put an end to terrorism, as the end to violence is an essential precondition for the revival of negotiations," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.
The same old beat goes on -- untold amounts of U.S. taxpayer dollars continue to BE WASTED on that situation and Washington still find that OK (purely for politcs) after DECADES OF FAILURES...it would be nice if we had a President that worried as much about our country, as every other one...
"But Abbas, after a reference to a halt in attacks on Israel, said that "all groups are on their way to the electoral process, so all groups will become a part of the political Palestinian fabric.""
We don't support terrorists and Hamas are terrorists.
"Then let's wait and see what the Arabs do after they take Gaza. There's nothing like Arab reality to break up a Jewish fantasy."FReeper Noachian
A student told his professor he was going to "Palestine" to "fight for freedom, peace and justice,"Orwellian leftist code words that mean "murder Jews."
The Nature Of Bruce ~
The USA President needs to be worried about the USA, for our people have had their jobs sent abroad,and we are lacking in health care for our own people, while we are being asked to sacrifice for the despots of this world. Our economy is now based on chance, gambling, and lotteries.
Our industries are leaving the country.
USA is being asked to police this world, and we are downsizing our military, and it just can not be done. Our National Guard has gone off to fight wars. The people of the USA are being asked to do the impossible. Our government is failing us, both the Democrats and the Republicans, and I do not even know which is worse.
Crap, crap, mega-crap....
By 2009, the Palestinians will not exist, that is my prediction.
"Bush unsure of Palestinian statehood before 2109"/sarcasm
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