Bush Discusses Middle East Strife with Mubarak, Jordan’s King
US President George W. Bush on Tuesday discussed the Middle East conflict with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah, according to a senior US official.
The official said the two leaders had welcomed the uS decision to name a special envoy to the region.
The official, who asked not to be named, said the United States was working hard to stop the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but added that it was not the time for Bush to put the prestige of the White House on the line by convening a Middle East summit, according to Reuters.
The United States on Monday named William Burns, the US ambassador to Jordan who has extensive Middle East experience, as a "special assistant" to persuade Israel and the Palestinians stop fighting, rebuild confidence and return to negotiations.
"The attitude was very positive about the Burns initiative," the official noted, saying it was important for Middle East leaders and their constituents to see a public demonstration that Washington was working for peace.
Asked about the possibility of Bush convening a summit as former president Bill Clinton did in 2000, he said, "There's an appropriate time for a president to use the prestige of the office of the presidency. Now is not the appropriate time for [the president] to be holding meetings because first of all, for there to be any peace, the violence has to stop."
In another development, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah Khatib said Tuesday that Jordan welcomed the United States announcement that it would exert greater efforts to end the crisis in the region and create suitable circumstances to resume negotiations on the Palestinian-Israeli track.
Khatib hoped the US role would “lead to effective steps to end aggression against the Palestinian people and return to the negotiating table,” the official Jordanian news agency, Petra, quoted him as saying – Albawaba.com
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