RealNews

Bush Ties Middle East Plan to New Palestinian PM

President Bush said on Friday he would unveil a long-delayed Middle East peace plan once the Palestinians install a new prime minister with “real authority,” reaching out to Arab and European nations ahead of a possible war with Iraq. “The time has come to move beyond entrenched positions and to take concrete actions to achieve peace,” Bush said in a hastily arranged appearance in the White House Rose Garden with Secretary of State Colin Powell. Before announcing his plans for the so-called “road map,” with its goal of creating a Palestinian state, Bush briefed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. Washington had been urged by other members of the so-called “Quartet” of mediating powers — also including Russia, the United Nations and the European Union — to stop delaying action on the road map, amid charges Bush was too preoccupied with Iraq to work on Middle East peace. Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has named Mahmoud Abbas, widely known as Abu Mazen, to be prime minister, but Abbas has not yet accepted the post. Full Story

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