As new Palestinian institutions and new leaders emerge, demonstrating real performance on security and reform, I expect Israel to respond and work toward a
As new Palestinian institutions and new leaders emerge, demonstrating real performance on security and reform, I expect Israel to respond and work toward a final-status agreement. With intensive effort by all, this agreement could be reached within three years from now. And I and my country will actively lead toward that goal.
President Bush set a goal yesterday of ensuring the creation of a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state alongside Israel before he leaves office in 2009. With British Prime Minister Tony Blair at his side, Bush pledged to put the resources of the United States and the prestige of his presidency behind the quest.
“I’d like to see it done in four years,” Bush said. “I think it is possible.”
At an American-sponsored peace conference last November in Annapolis, Md., Israeli and Palestinian leaders pledged to make every effort to reach a peace agreement based on President Bush’s vision of two states for two peoples by the end of his term in January.
Since then, [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice has proved an indefatigable intermediary: this will be her eighth visit to the region in the past year. But the transitions and upheavals affecting politics in the United States and in Israel have already effectively frozen the talks. Citing the political turmoil in Israel, Ms. Rice implicitly acknowledged for the first time that there was little chance of an imminent deal.
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