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Abbas in Washington For Talks With President Bush

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he wants a clear position from the United States regarding implementation of the "road map" plan for peace in the Middle East.

Mr. Abbas made his comment to reporters as he arrived in Washington late Tuesday for his meeting Thursday with President Bush.

A White House spokesman said Wednesday that Mr. Bush believes the road map is the best plan for achieving his vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living peacefully side by side.

The 2003 plan calls for Palestinians to crack down on terror groups and build democratic institutions ahead of final status negotiations aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Abbas said he will also ask for economic aid, and the two men are expected to discuss Israel's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

Some information for this report provided by AFP