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Source: United States of America
6 December 2004



Bush Hopes to Seize Moment for Middle East Peace

Discusses Iraq, trade relations with Jordan's King Abdullah

President Bush says there is a "window of opportunity" to establish a Palestinian state, which he describes as a key element of peace in the Middle East.

Speaking with Jordan's King Abdullah at the White House December 6, Bush said he intends to "work very closely with His Majesty to seize that moment for the good of the Palestinian people and for the good of the Israelis so that we can achieve peace."

Bush said he and King Abdullah also discussed Iraq, as well as Jordan's economy and its bilateral trade relations with the United States.

"[T]he amount of trade between our countries is growing, which is to the benefit of the Jordanian people, as well as to the American people. And I appreciate your leadership," Bush told Abdullah.

For his part, King Abdullah said Jordan and the United States will work closely "to bring transition in Iraq as quickly as possible and a future for the Iraqi people."

He thanked Bush for his "dedication to bring hope and peace" to the Middle East and for the "strong stand" Bush has taken to improve the region.

"I tremendously appreciate the effort that you've given all of us and your vision for a better world for all of us in our part of the world," he told Bush.

Following is the transcript of Bush's remarks with Jordan's King Abdullah:

(begin transcript)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
December 6, 2004

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

The Oval Office
11:10 A.M. EST

PRESIDENT BUSH: Your Majesty, welcome back to the Oval Office. It is my honor to receive -- to receive you here again. And every time you come, I enjoy our conversations, and I'm impressed by the progress that your good country is making.

Today, we had a chance to talk about the Jordanian economy, and the growth of the economy and the amount of trade between our countries is growing, which is to the benefit of the Jordanian people, as well as to the American people. And I appreciate your leadership.

We also talked about, of course, Iraq. I expressed my strong belief that the Iraqi elections must go forward on time. And I appreciate His Majesty listening to my -- my beliefs. And I assured His Majesty that the United States and my government will be involved with Middle Eastern peace, and that I believe that two states living side-by-side in peace -- a Palestinian state and an Israeli state -- is necessary for there to be peace, and that we have an -- a moment, a window of opportunity, and I intend to work very closely with His Majesty to seize that moment for the good of the Palestinian people and for the good of the Israelis, so that we can achieve peace that I know is on your mind.

So welcome -- welcome, sir. I'm really glad to have you back.

KING ABDULLAH: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. We're delighted to be back here, and to thank you, Mr. President, for, really, the outstanding support that you are giving our part of the world, and the President's dedication to bring hope and peace, hopefully, to Israelis and Palestinians. I know that you have been committed in the past four years in identifying a future for the Israelis and the Palestinians and the Israelis and the Arabs. And, again, the President today brought home to me how important that is. And I'm very delighted with that strong stand that you've always taken for a better Middle East.

As you mentioned, sir, we talked about the future of Iraq, and we work very closely together to bring a transition in Iraq as quickly as possible and a future for Iraqi people. And I tremendously appreciate the effort that you've given all of us and your vision for a better world for all of us -- thank you.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir. Welcome. Appreciate you. Thank you.

END 11:12 P.M. EST

(end transcript)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)


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