Bush still hoping for “two-state solution”
Samar Fatany | Arab News
* The Pal’s are “suffering under occupation”- and ““I have worked hard to change the terrible condition of Palestinians, and I ask for the support of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to achieve this,” Bush said.Â
Bush doing the Sword dance with Sow Dee
BUILDING BRIDGES: US President George W. Bush is pictured in a group photo with 43 women from the Middle East and North Africa at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Thursday. (AFP)
WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush reaffirmed his commitment for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue and called on Saudi Arabia and other Middle East nations to work for a final resolution to the long-standing problem.
He made the remarks on Thursday at a White House reception for a group of more than 40 women from the Middle East and North Africa visiting the United States.
Bush told the delegation that he has moved Israel closer to accepting a two-state solution during his time in office.
“I believe there needs to be a Palestinian state, and I stand by it,” Bush said.
“More than six years ago, I became the first American president to call for the creation of a Palestinian state.”
Bush said he sympathized with the plight of the Palestinian people.
“I said that Palestinians should not have to live in poverty and occupation and I laid out a new vision for the future â€” two democratic states, Israel and Palestine â€” living side by side in peace and security.”
He praised Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah as both a great friend and ally and hoped that other nations would unite with America to seek an equitable solution.
“I have worked hard to change the terrible condition of Palestinians, and I ask for the support of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to achieve this,” Bush said.
Bush dismissed notions of Islamophobia behind America’s current stance in the Middle East and Iraq and spoke of his respect for Islam and Muslims.
“Muslims and Christians pray to the same God,” Bush said, vehemently denying reports that portray him as a person against Islam and Muslims.
Bush portrayed himself as a friend and an ally of Arab governments who support peace.
At the end of the meeting, he told the delegation he would be meeting with the mothers of American soldiers killed in Iraq, saying he has a duty to console them and “stand by their side.”
The delegation, consisting of women from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Qatar, is part of an exchange program to promote economic and educational reform in their home countries.