What Bush Told Abbas at Aqaba

(Ha'aretz) Arnon Regular - Minutes from one of last week's cease-fire negotiations between Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and faction leaders from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular and Democratic Fronts may reveal some of President Bush's thinking at the recent Aqaba summit. After Abbas spoke about reaching a hudna (cease-fire) between all the Palestinian factions, "Bush exploded with anger and said 'there can be no deals with terror groups.' We told him that they are part of our people and we cannot deal with them in any other way. We cannot begin with repression." Bush also said "a cease-fire is not the whole story," meaning that a hudna is only the start of the process of disarming the groups. According to Abbas, Bush also said: "God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

2003-06-24 00:00:00

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