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Bush, King Abdullah to Meet at White House Thursday - 2003-12-03

President Bush meets Thursday at the White House with Jordan's King Abdullah. They are expected to discuss Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The king is in the United States on a private visit. And the meeting with President Bush was a late addition to his schedule.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, in announcing the talks, said the president considers King Abdullah to be a good friend. He said Mr. Bush looks forward to talking to him about a number of important issues.

There are indications the king wants to talk specifically about ideas to revive Palestinian negotiations with Israel based on a peace framework known as the "road map."

The Bush administration has emphasized in recent days that it remains committed to the "road map" and its goal of two states - Israeli and Palestinian - living side by side in peace and security.

The authors of an alternative peace plan will be meeting this week with administration officials in Washington, despite objections from Israel. Administrative spokesmen have emphasized they want to talk with people who have an interest in the peace process, but the Bush administration believes the road map is still the best way to proceed.