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Bush Pleased With Response to Middle East Peace Plan


President Bush has been talking about his Middle East peace plan with European leaders at the G8 summit in Canada and said he is pleased with the response. But most of their public statements have been lukewarm at best.

The president said there must be change at the top of the Palestinian leadership before there can be peace in the region.

He said the European response has been positive. "The reason why is most European leaders understand something has to change in order for there to be peace. And that starts with free elections, a new constitution, transparency, rule of law amongst the Palestinians," he said.

But while everyone agreeed on the need to move the peace process forward, most of the European leaders attending the G8 have stressed publicly that it is up to the Palestinians and the Palestinians alone to choose their representatives.

The strongest words of support for the president's position came from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who noted in order to make progress, there must be a Palestinian leadership serious about negotiating security issues and implementing political reforms.

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