Olmert says no peace with Palestinians but after cessation of terrorism


Ramallah : US President Bush and Olmet said they discussed the Iranian nuclear program and exchanged views over it.

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Bush said Iran has been threatening international peace and the international community must stop it.

If a country is capable of enriching uranium for civil purposes then it can develop it for military methods to build a nuclear bomb, said Bush, citing iranian missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

He said Iran was not transparent regarding its nuclear program.

Pressure will continue on Iran, said Bush, and Tehran should abide by its international obligations.

Bush meanwhile said he believed in the two-state vision because it was in the interest of the US and the entire world.

Bush, on the first leg of a tour in the Middle East, told the news conference he was optimistic that Israelis and Palestinians would reach peace by end of 2008 because both parties were serious and committed to reaching this objective.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are committed to taking tough decision to reach peace, said Bush and added that his visit to the region aimed at helping both parties.

If the countries of the region want to see Palestinian and Israeli states living side-by-side, said Bush, Arab leaders should support security and stability in the Middle East and back the Palestinians.

He said that Olmert told him about his intentions to deal with the Palestinians over key issues like Jerusalem, security of Israel and land.

The negotiations are taking place on three tracks, said Bush, the first is a clear vision for the Palestinian state, the second is helping the parties deal with the roadmap particularly regarding Jewish settlements, and the third is helping the Palestinians build their security forces and boost economy.

On the rockets’ attack, Bush said this issue would be high on the agenda of his meeting with Abbas in order to know what the Palestinians intended to do about this.

The Palestinians must be strict in dealing with the terrorists if they want to have a Palestinian state, said Bush.

Abbas knows every well that it is not in his interests that rockets are launched from Palestinian territories against Israel, and the Israelis do not want a country on their borders with rocket launchers threatening them, said Bush.