President Bush said he wants a Palestinian state that does not look like “Swiss cheese,” a senior Palestinian official said. Rafiq Al-Husseini, chief of staff to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, is in Washington this week to prepare for the Abbas-Bush summit Oct. 20. Al-Husseini was surprised Wednesday by a last-minute invitation to meet with Bush and Karen Hughes, a close Bush adviser dealing with U.S. diplomacy in the Arab world. “We talked about what the Palestinians under President Mahmoud Abbas are trying to do and trying to achieve, what President Bush’s vision is all about, and what” Bush’s “commitment to the Palestinian cause is in terms of establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian state,” Al-Husseini said afterward at a briefing at the Palestine Center, a Washington think tank. “He said he does not want a state that looks like ‘Swiss cheese’ — these were his words.” Bush in the past has expressed concern that Israeli settlement! in the West Bank could cantonize Palestinian areas and prevent the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state.
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