Bush believes in a signed Middle East peace treaty by the time he leaves office, sharply reproves Israel from Ramallah

Addressing the media after his first visit as president to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, Jan. 10, US president George W. Bush faced skeptical questions on this point. “We will help, influence the process and nudge it forward – even if we are a pain,” he said very firmly. “Abbas and PM Olmert must come together and make tough choices. The status quo is unacceptable.”
On a tone of reproof, Bush said: “Israelis should help not hinder the modernization of the Palestinian security forces. To the extent that the Israeli military undermines the Authority – that is something we do not agree with. After driving through the checkpoints, I can understand Palestinian resentment; I also understand Israel’s need for security and non-acceptance of a state from which missiles are fired.
The checkpoints create massive frustration for the Palestinians and security for Israel. My 45 cars went through without being stopped. But a Palestinian negotiator was stopped.”
The US president outlined his view of the object as being “a state that can defend itself internally and give confidence to its neighbors that checkpoints won’t be needed. The object is continuous territory. Abbas can’t assure a future without contiguous territory. There should be no checkpoints in the Palestinian state-to-be so that a state can emerge.”
Asked about Hamas in Gaza – “the elephant in the room” – the US president said:
“Hamas has delivered northing but misery and this Ramallah government offers a vision around which people can rally.”

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