|Bush meets with Palestinian President
[ 2006-09-21 09:06 ]
|President Bush has reaffirmed his support for
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, calling him a man of peace. They met
as members of the diplomatic quartet on the Middle East gathered for talks
on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
President Bush says Mahmoud Abbas is a man with a vision of peace, who
can help make the plan for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
dispute a reality.
"I can't thank you enough for the courage you have shown," Mr. Bush
says. "I assure you our government wants to work with you so that you are
capable of delivering the vision that so many Palestinians long for
and that is a society in which they can raise their children in peace and
But the January victory in Palestinian elections by the militant group
Hamas has weakened President Abbas.
America and the other members of the Quartet - the European Union,
Russia and the United Nations - have refused to deal with the Hamas-led
government. And while humanitarian aid is continuing, direct assistance to
the Palestinian Authority has been suspended until Hamas agrees to
recognize Israel and reject violence.
The Palestinian president is pushing the creation of a national unity
government between his Fatah faction and Hamas as a way to bring the
boycott to an end. As his meeting with Mr. Bush drew to a close, he told
reporters that his people need help.
"Mr. President, we look forward to your support and your help and your
aid because we are in dire need
of your help and support," Mr. Abbas says.
Mr. Abbas said his people want peace, despite the election of Hamas. He
told Mr. Bush the Palestinians will be faithful and true to peace, and
vowed he would not be disappointed.