President Bush is engaging in some telephone diplomacy as the Mideast peace process moves forward. His latest call was to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.
White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer says Mr. Bush placed the call to thank Prime Minister Abbas for his strong leadership. He says the president stressed the need for the Palestinians to take a "no-nonsense approach" to security.
Mr. Fleischer says President Bush took note of recent events in the region, a reference to confidence-building steps taken by both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. He says the president made specific mention of the arrest of one of the individuals responsible for a rocket attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip.
The conversation with Mr. Abbas followed a telephone call Wednesday between the president and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Mr. Bush also spoke earlier in the week with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah, urging them to remain involved in the peace process and the fight against terrorism.