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Bush plans no peace talks on Mideast trip

May 8, 2008 at 10:14 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- The White House says now isn't the time for a peace conference between U.S. President George Bush and leaders of Israel and the Palestinians.

Bush will be in Israel next week to help the Jewish state mark the 60th anniversary of its founding. He also plans to visit Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

National security adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters that next week "did not seem the time for a big high-level, three-way event " with the president, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hadley added, "It just doesn't feel right as the best way to advance the negotiations."

Experts on the Middle East, meanwhile, predicted little to no progress on the peace process during Bush's trip to the region and said that the Bush administration should expect little cooperation from Saudi Arabia on increasing oil production.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reportedly had been pushing for the three leaders to meet in Egypt. However, The Washington Times said, Olmert appears on the verge of being indicted in a corruption probe and could be forced to resign.

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