Bush calls Abbas, Olmert to White House

Just 24 hours after securing an agreement between Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume long-stalled peace talks, President Bush invited the pair to the White House to ceremonially inaugurate the first formal, direct negotiations in seven years.

Bush calls Abbas, Olmert to White House
Bush planned to meet separately with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and finally to get them together for an afternoon session and declaring the talks formally under way.

"President Bush has invited them both to the White House tomorrow to inaugurate those negotiations, and the two sides have agreed that they will return to the region and meet on December 12th to continue the process," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters late Tuesday.

Bush, along with Rice, had earlier salvaged a "joint understanding" between the Israelis and Palestinians, who had remained far apart on the details of the statement until the last minute.

But with prodding from the American side, Olmert and Abbas — troubled leaders with fragile mandates for peace — told international backers and skeptical Arab neighbors they are ready for hard bargaining toward an independent Palestinian state in the 14 months Bush has left in office.

Abbas, meanwhile, recited a familiar list of Palestinian demands, including calls for Israel to end the expansion of Jewish settlements on land that could be part of an eventual state called Palestine and to release some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

"Neither we nor you must beg for peace from the other," Abbas said. "It is a joint interest for us and you. Peace and freedom is a right for us, just as peace and security is a right for you and us."



Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Kasım 2007, 15:52
YORUM EKLE