Bush Seeks to Drum Up Arab Support

President wraps up first Israeli visit and moves on to Kuwait
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 10:22 AM CST
President Bush waves as he boards Air Force One before leaving for Kuwait following an official departure ceremony, Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. U.S. President George W. Bush said Friday that he would return...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush flew to Kuwait today, the first of five Arab nations he will visit to drum up support for an Israeli/Palestinian peace deal and to find ways to contain Iran. But don’t expect a “blinding flash” of support, given Israel’s pariah status, Condoleezza Rice warned. Bush is hoping he can convince Arab nations to throw muscle behind embattled Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his struggle against Hamas, the AP reports.

Bush left Israel after visiting the site where Jesus is believed to have said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." He also visited a Holocuast memorial in Jerusalem, calling it a "sobering reminder that evil exists and a call that when we find evil we must resist it." He pledged to return to Israel in May. Kuwait, meanwhile, rolled out a red-carpet welcome, despite being one of two states that skipped the Annapolis peace conference.