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Now or later

The New York Times had an article on Sunday suggesting that time might be just about out on President Bush’s plans for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal:

When Israeli and Palestinian leaders committed themselves to peace talks after meeting in Annapolis, Md., last November, Mr. Bush had hopes of ending his presidency on a foreign policy high note, with a deal for the contours of a Palestinian state. But with Mr. Bush headed to the region this week for the second time in five months, peace seems as elusive as ever — and some are looking to his successor.

But in a lengthy interview with the Washington Post and Newsweek, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert argues that the best time to make a Syrian deal is with Bush still in office:

My personal view is that no one can be of better help to this process than President Bush. Because any new president in America, if confronted with this issue, will have to wait two years at least until he learns enough and finds the appropriate time to devote to this, while Bush knows, Bush is familiar, and Bush understands. Therefore, if one is interested in a [Syrian-Israeli] process that ultimately leads to a public endorsement by the United States of America, then he has to hurry up.

I believe, for reasons that I don’t want to go into, that for Syria, the road to Washington must cross Jerusalem. I know what I’m talking about.

Click here for the full Q & A with Olmert.

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