First Published: 2003-05-31

 
Bush vows to reach Mideast peace agreement
 

Bush says he will do everything he can to reach Mideast peace as Israelis, Palestinians drafting joint statement.

 

Middle East Online

The Palestinians want Israel to recognise their ambitions to statehood

RAMALLAH, West Bank & KRAKOW, Poland US President George W. Bush on Saturday pledged to do all he could to reach and enforce an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

"I will do all I can to reach an agreement and see it enforced," Bush said here, looking ahead to twin Middle East peace summits he will co-host next week in Egypt and Jordan.

Israelis and Palestinians will craft a joint statement Saturday to be released at the close of next week's three-way summit of US, Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Palestinian sources said.

The sides agreed to draft the statement at the Thursday night meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmud Abbas.

"The two sides agree to the publishing of a joint statement" on the internationally drafted roadmap for peace, said Nabil Abu Rudeina, a senior advisor to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

They had started work on Friday, Palestinian sources said.

Dov Weisglass, Sharon's chief of staff, is participating in the discussions, Palestinian sources said.

The Palestinians want Israel to recognise their ambitions to statehood, while Israel wants the Palestinians to acknowledge its right to live within secure and stable borders, the sources said.

King Abdullah II will host US President George W. Bush, Abbas and Sharon in the Jordanian coastal resort of Aqaba on Wednesday. The summit, on the heels of a Tuesday gathering in Egypt of Bush and Arab leaders, aims to kickstart the roadmap.

The plan, drafted by the United States, Russia, European Union and United Nations, calls for the creation of a Palestinian state by the end of 2005, but hinges on the Palestinians cracking down on militant groups.

Meanwhile, the US Middle East envoy, William Burns, met in Ramallah Abbas, Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath and security chief Mohammed Dahlan, who is tapped to play a crucial role in a crackdown on Palestinian militant groups.

For his part, Shaath confirmed Palestinian and Israeli teams were busy at work on the statement to be released at the end of the summit.

 

Iran airs "confessions" of researcher facing death for spying

Mayor of Libya's Misrata assassinated

Macron sees war on IS in Syria will be won in February

Assad blasts US-backed Kurdish fighters

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey prosecutor seeks release of German reporter

Kuwait likely to face political uncertainty

Lebanon arrests suspected killer of British embassy worker

Israel targets Hamas site in Gaza

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists