Bush may be back in Israel


President Bush may return to Israel before he finishes his term in office.

“The president has indicated that he wants to do what can to be useful to advancing the negotiating process,” Stephen Hadley, Bush’s national security adviser, said in a briefing on Thursday in Jerusalem. “If that involves further visits to the region, he is prepared to do that.

“He said that publicly, and I can expect – I think you can expect – you will see him again at least once and maybe more times in the region before his term is up.”

Pressed if that specifically meant Israel, Hadley said, “When I say the region, he could come to Israel, he could come to other countries in the region, he could do both. Obviously the itinerary is going to be driven somewhat by events.”

Bush’s visit this week to Israel and the Palestinian areas, aimed at spurring renewed Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, is his first in his seven years as president.

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