Bush to Urge US Mideast Allies to Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

President Bush travels to the Middle East in the coming week in hopes of urging U.S. allies in the region to support Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

The president's first stop is Israel where he says he will encourage Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to move forward with peace talks they began in November in the United States.

"This is difficult work. It will require tough decisions on complex questions. But I am optimistic about the prospects. And I will make clear that America is deeply committed to helping both parties realize the historic vision we share: two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security," said Mr. Bush.

After Israel, the president visits Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. In his weekly radio address, he says he will urge regional leaders to support Israeli-Palestinian talks and will consult with them on the war against extremists.

The president says America will stay engaged in the region because societies growing in tolerance and hope are less likely to become sources of radicalism and violence.

"We will support democrats and reformers from Beirut and Baghdad to Damascus and Tehran," said Mr. Bush. "We will stand with all those working to build a future of liberty and justice and peace."

Analysts and activists in some Middle Eastern countries allied with the United States say 2007 was marked by governments backtracking from steps toward democracy.

During his trip, President Bush will meet with U.S. officials from Iraq for an update on the fighting there.

Public opinion polls say a majority of Americans believe the president's decision to invade Iraq was a mistake. And the deployment of more than 100,000 U.S. troops there is a major issue in this year's presidential campaign.

In the Democratic radio address, party chairman Howard Dean urged American voters to put an end to seven years of Republican rule.

"The Republican candidates stand for the past. They support the president's war in Iraq, the president's veto of children's health care, and they support an endless charge-card mentality, which our children and grandchildren will pay the bill for. The Democrats stand for the future of our country, and the message this November will be clear. If you want to get out of Iraq and refocus America's priority to really fight terrorism, vote for a Democrat for president," said Dean.

In this week's first presidential caucus, more than twice as many Democrats turned out as Republicans. Dean says that shows Americans do not want another Bush term. That cannot happen anyway as the constitution prevents the president from seeking a third term.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs