Bush: Peace negotiators must get to work
JERUSALEM -- Israeli and Palestinian leaders must make progress on four fronts to achieve peace in the Middle East, U.S. President George Bush said in Jerusalem.
In a statement on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Bush said the two sides must fulfill commitments under the so-called road map to peace. The Palestinians also must build their economy, and their political and security institutions, "(and) they need the help of Israel, the region, and the international community," Bush said.
He also called upon Arab countries to reach out to Israel, "a step that is long overdue."
Finally, he said Israel and the Palestinian Authority need to begin the business of negotiations.
"I called upon both leaders to make sure their teams negotiate seriously, starting right now," Bush said Thursday. "I strongly supported the decision of the two leaders to continue their regular summit meetings, because they are the ones who can, and must, and -- I am convinced -- will lead.
Bush said both sides must understand that satisfying each others' fundamental objectives -- security for Israel and viability for the Palestinian state -- is key to achieving peace.
Achieving an agreement "will require painful political concessions on both sides," Bush said.
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