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2005 blog


Bush says White House meeting
with Abbas will help build trust
,  Feb. 7, 2005

President George W. Bush said today he has "been impressed by Prime Minister Abbas's commitment to fighting off terror" and believes by inviting the Palestinian leader and Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Washington for separate visits this spring, he will help to build "a level of trust between all parties."

Besides trust between Israelis and Palestinians, there needs to be "trust with the United States, trust with the United Nations, trust with Europe, trust with the parties who are going to be investing in a Palestinian state," Bush commented in a brief meeting with media following his Feb. 7 Cabinet meeting,

Scheduling separate meetings in Washington with Abbas and with Israel's Prime Minster Sharon is part of "a process unfolding, where people are becoming more trustworthy," he said. 

Bush said Abbas "comes to the table with a mandate from a lot of Palestinians. He has been through an election; he was endorsed by the Palestinian people." 

The President also said that he was "impressed by the fact that Israel helped the Palestinians have an election, went out of their way to make sure that people were allowed to go to the polls."

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, at his regular press briefing, amplified on the President's remarks:  

"The President has previously met with both leaders together," he said. "They had an historic meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh previously. And, unfortunately, other events prevented progress from being made. But now we have a real opportunity before us to move forward on the President's two-state vision. President Abbas is now an elected leader, elected by the Palestinian people. He is someone who has shown a commitment to meeting the responsibilities outlined in the road map. Prime Minister Sharon has shown a commitment to moving forward on the road map, and the President's two-state vision. We appreciate the steps that have been taken. We'll continue to work with both parties and other parties in the region, as well as our European friends, to move forward on that two-state vision.

"Right now, you're going to have a meeting taking place between these two leaders this week. We will do everything we can to support the advancement of the President's two-state vision. And the President looks forward to meeting with these leaders again in the future, and he also looks forward to sending Secretary Rice to London to participate in the London Conference, which will focus on helping Palestinians develop a strategy for putting institutions in place for a democratic state to emerge. But we are going to be there every step of the way to do our part to help advance that two-state vision."          Donald H. Harrison