Monday, July 16, 2007

Bush calls for international Mideast peace conference


Bush has nothing to lose, so he doesn’t care.

Olmert is too weak to guarantee Israel’s safety, and too stupid to know what to do.

Rice wants to put a “checkmark” next to the “Peace in the Middle East” line on her “to do” list, she doesn’t really care how that is achieved and how many Jews must give their lives for it.

The Arabs want to kill us, and will smile like crocodiles until they can get close enough to attack.


Jul. 16, 2007 20:08 | Updated Jul. 16, 2007 20:30

President George W. Bush called for an international conference later this year to include Israel, the Palestinian authority and some of their Arab neighbors to help restart Mideast peace talks and will pledge increased aid to the Palestinian Authority government of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to lead the peace conference, which will include representatives of Israel and "neighbors in the region," said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Bush spoke Monday afternoon at the White House about the peace conference and US financial and diplomatic support for Abbas, who controls just the West Bank after Hamas gained authority over Gaza in June.

Bush said that now is "a moment of choice" between two paths for the Palestinian people - one represented by the moderate government led by Abbas and his Fatah faction and that of Hamas.

The conference among Palestinian and Israeli officials and other countries in the region would be a way to prod the peace process. It would be one of the few times that Israelis and Arab leaders have met jointly to work out their differences.

Bush also called for Israel to remove settlement outposts in Palestinian Authority territory and end settlement expansion, the official said. In addition, he urged Israel to continue releasing tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.

Bush pledged additional financial support for the Abbas government, saying the United States will give US $190 million in aid to the PA.

Bush talked about Tony Blair's role in his Mideast remarks.

Blair was recently named as special envoy to the region by the Quartet of Mideast peace makers - the US, European Union, United Nations and Russia.

The president also called for an international meeting of donor nations to discuss financial ways of helping the Abbas government, the official said.

Bush will tell Abbas that with increased US and international financial support comes an obligation to reach out more to Israel and end incitement, a US official said.

A senior administration official earlier said the president would announce aid above the $86 million (€62.4 million) that the White House already has requested from Congress. That money was to help provide security for Abbas' Fatah faction. The administration also has pledged to contribute $40 million (€29 million) to the United Nations to help the Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip now controlled by Hamas.

After a meeting Monday in Jerusalem between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat talked about Bush's upcoming announcement. "I think it's a clear-cut endgame here. We are talking about President Bush's vision of a two-state solution," said Erekat.

He added that Bush should address "how do you translate this from a vision to a realistic political track? How do you move from a policy of what's possible to a policy of what is needed?"

"In order to restore credibility and integrity to the peace process, the people of this region, Palestinians and Israelis, must start seeing deeds and not merely words," Erekat said.

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