Bush still hopes for Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough by end of 2008
US President George W. Bush on Thursday told visiting Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas he remained "hopeful" for a Middle East peace breakthrough before he leaves the White House in January. "It's not easy. No doubt it must be frustrating at times for you, because it's hard work to get a state after all these years," Bush told Abbas.
"I've got four more months left in office, and I'm hopeful that the vision that you and I have worked on will come to pass, and my only pledge to you is that I'll continue to work hard to see that it can come to pass," said Bush.
According to AFP, Abbas said: "Hope will remain, Mr President. We cannot live without hope. We will continue to work to achieve and realize that hope." "We will continue to work with you, and we will continue to keep the hope alive in order to reach a political solution for our issue and for the Middle East," Abbas vowed.
"Nevertheless, there is a firm determination on your part and on my part to give the Palestinians a place where there can be dignity and hope," Bush said as they met in his Oval Office.
Abbas said late Wednesday that the Palestinians were committed to peaceful negotiations.