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Bush says peace cannot be imposed; Abbas stresses final status issues

WASHINGTON, Nov 26 (KUNA) -- U.S. President George W. Bush said Monday that peace in the Middle East cannot be imposed while meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House ahead of the Annapolis conference tomorrow.
"We want there to be peace. We want the people in the Palestinian Territories to have hope," said Bush in the Oval Office.
"The United States cannot impose our vision, but we can help facilitate," he added. "We have a great deal of hope that this conference will produce permanent status negotiations, expanded negotiations over all permanent status issues, that would lead to a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian people," said Abbas in return.
Bush expressed his appreciations of Abbas efforts "to implement a vision for a Palestinian state" and his willingness "to sit down with Israel to negotiate this settlement" noting that that the United States wanted to help in this regard. The Palestinian President described the Annapolis conference as a "historic initiative." "We will continue to rely on his support, and the support of the United States and his administration, in order to achieve the intended objective," said Ababs about Bush. (end) jm.gta KUNA 262239 Nov 07NNNN