Bush upbeat about Palestinian-Israeli peace prospects, concerned about Iran nuclear program
President Bush was upbeat Thursday about Mideast peace prospects, attributing his optimism to the appointment of a new Palestinian prime minister.
"Of course we are going to make progress, yes we will make progress, absolutely," Bush told reporters before lunching at the White House with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, the emir of Qatar.
"The reason we will make progress is because the Palestinian Authority has now got a leader in the prime minister who has renounced violence," Bush said. Also, the president said, the new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, "said he wants to work with us to make the area more secure. He understands what we know: That a peace process will proceed if and when there is a concerted effort to fight violence."
On Iran, Bush expressed concern that it might be developing nuclear arms and said the United States would take the lead in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Bush pointed out that the International Atomic Energy Agency meets in June. "We'll wait and see what it says," he said at the White House.
"I've always expressed my concerns that the Iranians may be developing a nuclear program," Bush said. "One of the things we must do is work together to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," he added. "It is a major issue that faces the world and it is an issue on which the United States will still lead." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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