No three-way summit during tour


There will be no U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian summit during President Bush’s Middle East tour.

“This did not seem the time for a big high-level, three-way event with the President and the Prime Minister and President Abbas,” Stephen Hadley, President Bush’s national security adviser, said Wednesday in a briefing outlining Bush’s visit, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “It just doesn’t feel right as the best way to advance the negotiations. And so, at this point, there is no plans for such a meeting.”

Hadley insisted that bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were going well, although Israel’s absence from what originally had been touted as a summit in Egypt suggested otherwise.

Hadley otherwise outlined Bush’s participation in Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations, including a tour of Masada and an address to the Knesset.

Bush leaves May 13. In addition to Israel and Egypt, he will visit Saudi Arabia during his tour.

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