Israel’s 60th Birthday


BBC Changes Article and Removes reference to 60th Birthday by Dave
January 15, 2008, 2:00 am
Filed under: BBC, Israel's 60th Birthday

Old article retrieved from google cache reference to Israel’s 60th birthday removed.

Bush visits US troops in Kuwait

Sheikh Sabah of Kuwait greets George W Bush on his arrival in Kuwait US President George W Bush is meeting some of the 15,000 American troops based in Kuwait, as the focus of his Middle East tour turns to Iraq. Earlier Mr Bush was briefed by the commander of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus.

He said hope was returning to Iraq following the increase in US troop levels there last year.

On Friday Mr Bush met Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah, after two days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Correspondents say he is trying to persuade some of his key Arab allies to support his Middle East peace initiative.

‘Hope returning’

Mr Bush met Gen Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador in Iraq, at a command centre at the US base at Arifjan, where an intelligence team monitors developments on the ground in Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.

Gen Petraeus and Mr Crocker were expected to brief the president on the improving security situation in Iraq.

Mr Bush said that after last year’s troop surge in Iraq hope was now returning.

“We must do all we can to ensure that 2008 will bring even greater progress,” he said.

No decision would be taken on bringing troops home, he said, adding that any reduction of troop levels would depend on conditions on the ground and it was up to Gen Petraeus to decide whether this was possible.

Gen Petraeus is due to brief the president again in March.

After rounding off his first trip as president to Israel and the West Bank, Mr Bush held talks with Sheikh Sabah, in Kuwait city.

The US president will continue to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran factor

His aim is to encourage them to back Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian president negotiates with the Israelis.

This is phase two of what many regard as “mission impossible”, the BBC’s Matthew Price reports from Kuwait City.

Mr Bush hopes to encourage states like Kuwait to start a process of reaching out to Israel but even before the president landed, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was telling journalists not to expect any breakthrough.

One problem, our correspondent notes, is that what concerns Gulf states like Kuwait the most is not the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but Iran and Washington’s intentions towards it.

Gulf leaders will be telling Mr Bush they want the stand-off resolved peacefully, not through military means, our correspondent says.

During his three-day tour of Israel and the West Bank, Mr Bush made what analysts described as some of the strongest statements to date on the need for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of land seized in 1967, he said he believed a peace deal could be signed by the end of this year, Israel’s 60th anniversary, before he leaves office in 2009.

Found here

New article – ” Hope returning to Iraq, says Bush

US President George W Bush has said hope is returning to Iraq following the US troop surge last year.

Visiting a US base in Kuwait, Mr Bush said the withdrawal of 20,000 troops by July was on track, but no decision had been taken to bring home more.

Mr Bush was briefed by the head of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus.

The US president went on to Bahrain – the latest stage of a Middle Eastern tour that has included meetings with Palestinian and Israeli leaders.

Correspondents say he is trying to persuade some of his key Arab allies to support his peace initiative.

Mr Bush also urged Iran and Syria to do more to reduce violence in Iraq.

Later Gen Petraeus said that attacks in Iraq linked to Iranian “explosively formed projectiles” had doubled or even trebled in recent days.

‘Hope returning’

Mr Bush met Gen Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador in Iraq, at a command centre at the US base at Arifjan, where an intelligence team monitors developments on the ground in Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.

Gen Petraeus and Mr Crocker briefed the president on the improving security situation in Iraq.

Iraq is now a different place from one year ago – we must do all we can to ensure that 2008 will bring even greater progress
George W Bush

Mr Bush said the increase in US troop levels by 30,000 last year had turned Iraq into a country where hope was now returning.

“The new way forward I announced a year ago changed our approach in fundamental ways,” he said.

“Iraq is now a different place from one year ago. We must do all we can to ensure that 2008 will bring even greater progress,” he said.

No further decision would be taken on bringing troops home, he said, although plans to withdraw 20,000 by the middle of the year were on track.

Any new reduction of troop levels would depend on conditions on the ground, he added, and it was up to Gen Petraeus to decide whether this was possible.

Gen Petraeus is due to brief the president again in March.

Iran factor

After rounding off his first trip as president to Israel and the West Bank, Mr Bush held talks with Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah.

George W Bush with Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. 12-1-08

Mr Bush met the king of Bahrain as part of his tour of the Gulf

The president later visited Bahrain where he met the king, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifah.

He will then visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Bush’s aim is to encourage them to back Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as he negotiates with the Israelis.

This is phase two of what many regard as “mission impossible”, the BBC’s Matthew Price reports from Kuwait City.

Mr Bush hopes to encourage states like Kuwait to start a process of reaching out to Israel.

One problem, our correspondent notes, is that what concerns Gulf states like Kuwait the most is not the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but Iran and Washington’s intentions towards it.

Gulf leaders will be telling Mr Bush they want the stand-off resolved peacefully, not through military means, our correspondent says.

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