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Bush to express his satisfaction with Mideast progress (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Nathan Guttman WASHINGTON 02/03/05)Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/535433.html HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
WASHINGTON - A few hours before President George W. Bush was scheduled to give his State of the Union address yesterday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush would be expressing satisfaction at the latest moves to advance negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and hope for a new opportunity to promote peace in the region.

Bush is also expected to emphasize the administration´s actual involvement in promoting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, an involvement reflected in the upcoming visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the beginning of next week.

"The president will make a commitment to work to move the process forward," a White House staffer said Tuesday in a briefing on the State of the Union speech.

Secretary Rice said yesterday in interviews with news agencies that the progress attained on the ground since Mahmoud Abbas took up his post is good, even if it "is not perfect," as she put it.

"Determination to fight terrorism and restore law and order are things the Palestinian Authority must do. Period," Rice said.

She said the main object of her visit to the region is to preserve the momentum and ensure that the process continues. (© Copyright 2005 Haaretz. 02/03/05)

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