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No 'breakthrough' seen for Bush trip

May 13, 2008 at 3:04 PM

WASHINGTON, May 13 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush doesn't expect "any major breakthroughs" in his trip to the Middle East, the White House said Tuesday.

Bush is to arrive in Israel Wednesday.

At the White House, Press Secretary Dana Perino said, "We don't anticipate any major breakthroughs. ... But the president believes that his one-on-one meetings are very important and one of the best ways to make progress. And he'll have meetings with the Israelis while we're there in Jerusalem,and then when he goes to Sharm el-Sheik (Egypt), he'll have lots of other additional meetings."

Perino said Bush would stress "the importance of having a free and fair society right there in the heart of the Middle East when it comes to Iraq. And then he also talks to them about the Palestinians and the Israelis, and how they have a chance right now, and that they need to be supported by their neighbors."

One of the most important issues is "to build up the (Palestinian) economy, to make sure that there are schools and jobs and vocational training, so that people have a hopeful vision, rather than one of despair, which is the one that certainly the people living in Gaza are feeling right now," she said.

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