Bush and Olmert Discuss Hamas, Iran in Visit
President Bush meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the White House to discuss the new leader's plan to withdraw from much of the West Bank. Progress toward a Palestinian state has been clouded by leadership struggles among Palestinians, especially the election of the hardline Hamas Party to run the Palestinian Authority.
Despite praising Olmert's plan for a unilateral redrawing of West Bank borders, President Bush stopped short of a full endorsement. In addition to Olmert's initiative, the two leaders were also expected to discuss the creation of a Palestinian state, Iran's nuclear ambitions, and ongoing struggles in Iraq.
White House officials characterized Tuesday's meeting as merely a strategy session. Chief among their concerns is the Palestinian Authority that's led by Hamas, an organization that refuses to renounce violence. Listed as a terrorist group by the United States and European Union, Hamas refuses to recognize that Israel has a right to exist.
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