Archive for the ‘Palestine’ Category

Russia to supply Abbas with armored vehicles, no guns

March 21, 2008

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – After months of delay, Russia agreed to Israeli conditions regarding the delivery of armored vehicles to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas‘s security forces, Israeli officials said on Friday.

Israel agreed in November to allow the Palestinians to receive up to 50 lightly armored vehicles but a dispute emerged over a Palestinian demand that they have guns mounted on them.

Israeli officials said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during a meeting on Thursday that Russia agreed to shipping the vehicles without mounted guns.

It was unclear when the vehicles would be delivered to Abbas’s forces.

“We have been hearing about these armed vehicles for more than a year,” said a Palestinian security official. “Hopefully we will be able to receive the shipment.”

Read the rest:

Bush in Saudi Arabia for talks

January 14, 2008
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – President Bush, on his first visit to this oil-rich kingdom, delivered a major arms sale Monday to a key ally in a region where the U.S. casts neighboring Iran as a menace to stability.

Bush’s talks with Saudi King Abdullah, which began over dinner and were continuing with late-night meetings, also were expected to cover peace between Israelis and Palestinians….

Read the rest:

Israel: “Thank God For George Bush”

January 9, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 9, 2008

In a rare moment of praise for President Bush, Israeli President Shimon Peres explained to reporters that it was not polite to praise a person in his own presence.  Then he slipped into Hebrew and said, “Thank God for George Bush.”

President Bush is in Israel on the first stop in his multi-nation Middle East peace mission.

Israel expressed strong gratitude to the United States for its continued support for the peace process.  Both nations again expressed an intention to see a new Palistinian nation in the Middle East near Israel.
President Bush arrives in Israel for his first presidential visit there on Wednesday
President Bush arrives in Israel Wednesday for his first presidential
visit there. (Photo by Christopher Furlong, Getty Images.)

When asked why no three party talks were planned — to include the Palistinian leadership, President Peres said there had been a three-way discussion just a month ago during the Annapolis summit.

“I come as an optimistic person and a realistic person – realistic in my understanding that it’s vital for the world to fight terrorists, to confront those who would murder the innocent to achieve political objectives,” Bush said as he began his first presidential visit to Israel.

But the real news from the press conference today was the heartfelt praise for President Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice by the Israelis.

“Your visit is timely and is very important to encourage the process that you and Secretary Rice helped start in Annapolis a few weeks ago and that we, both sides I believe, are very seriously trying to move forward with now in order to realize the vision of a two-state solution,” said Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

(AP) President Bush, right, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I come with high hopes,” Bush said. “And the role of the United States will be to foster a vision of peace. The role of the Israeli leadership and the Palestinian leadership is going to do the hard work necessary to define a vision.”

President Bush pledged to fully support the peace process.

“Am I nudging them forward? Well, my trip was a pretty significant nudge because yesterday they had a meeting,” he said. And he said he would step in when and if his involvement is needed. “You know me well enough to know I’ll be more than willing to provide it,” Bush said.

When asked about the confrontation at sea Sunday between small boats from Iran and the United States Navy, President Bush reiterated what his National Security Advisor had said in Washington.  “Next time, Iran will have to take responsibility for the consequences.”

President Bush said Iran continues to be a “threat to world peace.”

The president said about the incident in the Persian Gulf, “all options are on the table to secure our assets.” He said serious consequences would follow another Iranian provocation. “My advice to them is don’t do it,” he said.

Rice: Mideast peace in jeopardy

October 24, 2007

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that a “two-state solution” in the Middle East was in jeopardy, and described a narrow window of opportunity to push Israel and the Palestinians toward peace.

In a House hearing interrupted by anti-war protesters, Rice said an upcoming peace conference in Annapolis, Md., is needed to give hope to moderate Palestinian forces. She blamed Iran for fanning flames in the region, including what she called “troubling” new support for Hamas militants.

“Our concern is growing that without a serious political prospect for the Palestinians that gives to moderate leaders a horizon that they can show to their people that indeed there is a two-state solution that is possible, we will lose the window for a two-state solution,” Rice told the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rice’s testimony was punctuated by Iraq war protesters….Read the rest: