WASHINGTON (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and President Bush will meet in Washington on Dec. 19.
The meeting, reported Dec. 12 by The Associated Press, comes weeks after Bush’s last meeting as president with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Bush has said he wants to bring the Israelis and Palestinians as close as possible to a deal before he hands over his office to President-elect Barack Obama.
All three leaders are lame ducks to varying degrees. Olmert has resigned to face corruption charges and must leave by mid-March, and Abbas’ term ends next month and it is unclear whether he will go to new elections or to the legislature to extend his term another year.