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Bush Ends Peace Mission Without Breakthrough

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Author Topic: Bush Ends Peace Mission Without Breakthrough  (Read 34 times)
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« on: January 11, 2008, 01:00:28 pm »

                                       Bush ends peace mission without breakthrough

By Tabassum Zakaria

 KUWAIT (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush wrapped up his mission to Israel and the occupied West Bank on Friday, emboldened enough to have predicted a peace treaty within a year but with no major breakthroughs for his efforts.
Bush arrived on Friday evening in Kuwait, the first of five stops with Arab allies he hopes will aid the fragile peace process and help contain Iran's growing regional clout.

Bush met Kuwait's ruler, who thanked him for his efforts to make progress on issues crucial to the Middle East.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said talks would now turn to "the threats that we've seen in the Gulf, the problem of extremism, whether it be extremism from al Qaeda, Sunni extremism, or whether it be Iran and its tentacles, like Hezbollah and the part of Hamas that Iran supports."

Gulf states have battled al Qaeda militants in recent years, but they are also concerned about the crises in Lebanon and Iraq, as well as the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.

Kuwaiti media said the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, would tell Bush of his concerns that a U.S. strike on nearby Iran would destabilize the Gulf, key to world oil supplies.

Bush is likely hear a similar message from other Gulf Arab leaders who want to curb their Shi'ite Muslim neighbor's nuclear program without resorting to war.

Kuwait, which also neighbors Iraq and is a base for thousands of U.S. troops, has said it will not allow the United States to use its territory for any strike against Iran.

"The president will make very clear that the United States takes very seriously its commitments to our allies in this region..." Rice said aboard Air Force One on the way to Kuwait.


Bush flew out of Tel Aviv after painting an upbeat picture from talks this week with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas intended to build on a U.S.-hosted international peace conference in November.

Sending a symbolic message, Bush ended the first leg of a week-long Middle East tour by visiting the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus is believed to have intoned "blessed are the peacemakers," and the ruins of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee.

Challenging skeptics, Bush said on Thursday there would be a signed peace treaty before he left office in January 2009.

Olmert's spokesman said Israel endorsed Bush's call for a rapid peace deal but made clear it does not see the final establishment of a Palestinian state this year.

Mark Regev said Israel hoped for a "historic agreement" in 2008 that would outline the framework of a future Palestinian state, with implementation contingent on Palestinians meeting security commitments.

The White House had kept hopes for progress on a two-state solution during Bush's visit low. Some analysts said his real goal was to find a legacy other than the unpopular Iraq war.

Rice said the peace process had been stuck as the road map dictated which sequence the moves by each side had to happen.

"What Annapolis did was to break that tight sequentiality and to say you can do these in parallel," she said, referring to road map obligations and negotiations for final status.

While Abbas and Olmert praised Bush's peace bid, neither offered significant concessions to the U.S. leader.

Bush seemed to harden his tone towards U.S. ally Israel, urging an end to "occupation" in the West Bank, something he has not done often and rarely in such pointed fashion.

At the same time, he pressed Abbas to rein in militants and reaffirmed Washington's commitment to Israel's security.

He left Abbas, whose Fatah group lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas Islamists in June, and Olmert, who is also politically weak, with an admonition to make difficult choices.


In travels over the next few days, Bush said he would urge Arab allies to "begin to reach out" to Israel to help nurture the peace process. After Kuwait, he will head to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Bush has accepted Israel's invitation to return for its 60th anniversary celebrations and said he would use the visit "to help the peace process move forward." Bush set no date for the trip but Israel's independence day falls on May 8 this year.

However, a key hurdle to a peace deal is a sense among many Arabs of U.S. bias in favor of Israel. There are also doubts about Bush's newfound commitment to resolving the conflict.

"There isn't going to be a blinding flash in any of this, not on this trip, not on the next trip but this is a process of moving forward," Rice said. "You will see that as the bilateral process continues to move forward the Arabs will do more..."

(Writing by Matt Spetalnick, Jeffrey Heller and Lin Noueihed, Editing by Keith Weir)
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2008, 02:01:52 pm »

Let's see if the globalist cohorts don't plan a false-flag operation in the upcoming weeks.
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 02:43:03 pm »

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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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