Bush Vows Active Peace Role

President pledges to keep up US engaged in Israel-Palestine talks
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2007 5:56 PM CST
President Bush, center, reaches for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, left, to stop him form walking farther prior to making a brief statement on the Middle East peace process in The Rose Garden of...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush promised today that the US would remain an active player in the Middle East peace process. Having coordinated yesterday's pledge by the leaders for a treaty by the end of 2008, Bush joined Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a ceremony marking resumption of peace talks for the first time in seven years, Reuters reports.

In a move designed to underscore Bush's commitment, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named Marine Gen. James Jones as special representative for Mideast security—though Bush himself dodged a question on possible plans to travel to the region. Skepticism remains that the three leaders can deliver, especially without the involvement of Hamas, the organization that currently controls the Gaza Strip.