President Bush reaffirmed his commitment to seeing a peaceful Palestinian state established.
Bush met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in New York on Monday, ahead of the United Nations summit.
“I strongly support the creation of a Palestinian state,” Bush said after the talks. “We will work as hard as we possibly can to achieve the vision.”
He further praised Abbas, who has shunned Hamas since the Islamist group seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, for “fighting the extremists who don’t share the same kind of view” on coexistence with Israel.
Bush intends to convene Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and representatives of major Arab powers at a November conference on Palestinian statehood. Some Arab leaders have voiced doubt that the parley will yield results, but Abbas said he was hopeful progress would be made.
“We truly believe very strongly in the peace process, and we believe very strongly in your vision of establishing a Palestinian, independent, viable state that lives side by side with the State of Israel,” he told Bush.