Abbas to meet President Bush this week

Monday, May 23, 2005 | 
Mideast diplomacy takes center stage in Washington this week, as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas holds his first meeting with President Bush at the White House on Thursday. Abbas wants assurances from Bush that talks on Palestinian statehood will begin following Israel's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip this summer. But Israel is sending senior envoy Dov Weisglass to Washington to press the administration to reject that request. Israel opposes any US assurances on Palestinian statehood, until Abbas keeps his commitment under the “roadmap” peace plan and dismantles terrorist groups.

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