President Bush has criticized Israel’s plan to build 3,500 housing units to connect the biggest settlement of Ma’ale Adumim to nearby Jerusalem, saying it violates the “roadmap” peace plan. "Our position is very clear that the roadmap is important,” Bush told reporters. “And the roadmap calls for no expansion of the settlements." Bush said he will bring up the issue when he meets with Sharon at his Texas ranch next week. "I'm optimistic because I firmly believe that Ariel Sharon wants to have a peaceful partner, wants there to be a democracy in the Palestinian territories," Bush said. "There's a lot of hard work to be done, but we're making progress."