Bush's Mideast Peace Hopes

[TIME] Massimo Calabres - The odds of President Bush achieving his goal of a framework agreement between Israel and the Palestinians by year's end may be shrinking. The President hosted Jordan's King Abdullah for breakfast at the White House on Wednesday, and will welcome Mahmoud Abbas for talks on Thursday afternoon. Bush will visit Israel on May 14 to celebrate the Jewish state's 60th anniversary, and will later go to Sharm el-Sheik for talks with Abbas and Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak on the sidelines of a long-scheduled economic summit. Mubarak invited Olmert to join them, but, according to a senior Administration source, the Israeli premier declined. "Olmert made it clear to the Egyptians he does not want to go because he thinks it will just mean pressure on him for concessions," the official says. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni recently presented Palestinians with a map outlining Israeli ideas for a border between the two states, sources familiar with the talks said. And both sides have discussed the difficult issues of refugee return and the division of Jerusalem. But nothing has yet been put on paper, and there have been no actual negotiations. Attacks out of Gaza by Abbas' Palestinian adversary, the militant group Hamas, undermine Israel's willingness to move ahead on a deal. Egypt has been attempting to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, but talks on that front remain difficult.

2008-04-24 10:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive