U.S. President George W. Bush looked Tuesday for a commitment from Arab leaders to end violence and move toward peace with Israel.
Bush met first with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the host of the Arab summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Then Bush and Mubarak were heading into meetings with four other Arab leaders in talks.
Bush was likely to win support at a summit Tuesday for countering terrorism and for his peacemaking effort. Bush hopes the Arab leaders will state their unequivocal
commitment to the road map peace initiative that
charts a path to a Palestinian state by 2005. But Arab acceptance of Israel remains conditional on Israel yielding all the land it won in the 1967 Mideast war.
On his part, Bush is expected to assure the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain, and Palestinian PM of his commitment to the road map to Middle East peace, and urge them to give support to Palestinians to make peace with Israel.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said the summit was important to demonstrate Arab support for the road map and show that Arab leaders will be "speaking out as strongly as I expect the Palestinians to do in denouncing terror and violence and any support that is given to those that practice terror and violence."
Tuesday's meeting will be followed by another summit in Jordan on Wednesday with the Palestinian Premier Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
On the Palestinian side, Abbas' cabinet continued to work toward a declaration of a cease-fire on attacks against Israelis by groups like Hamas.
Abbas said the Palestinian leadership "is committed to implementing its part of the road map and calls on Israel to do the same." His comments, reported by the official Jordanian news agency, Petra, came during talks in Jordan with King Abdullah II. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )