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Bush to Meet Sharon at White House Tuesday


U.S. President George Bush meets Tuesday at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. They will be discussing ways to move the Mideast peace process forward.

This meeting is designed, in large part, to underscore the president's personal involvement in the peace process.

Four days after he welcomed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Bush will sit down for talks with Ariel Sharon.

The Israeli leader is expected to detail steps that are sure to be welcomed by Mr. Abbas, including the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan said the planned release will improve relations between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority and help facilitate progress to peace. But he went on to say that no one wants prisoners freed who have blood on their hands.

Another contentious issue on the agenda for the Bush-Sharon meeting is Israel's plan to build a fence between the Jewish State and the West Bank. President Bush has sharply criticized the fence. And on Monday, Israel canceled a ceremony marking completion of the first section of the project.

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