Bush Calls for Mideast Peace Conference

Rice will chair talks seen as step toward '2-state solution'
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2007 6:38 PM CDT
Palestinian Ali Abdul Muhyee,47, right, and his daughter Raghad, 6, watch United States President George Bush during a televised speech at their home in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, July 16,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In a bid to restart Mideast peace talks, the US will sponsor a summit of nations that "recognize Israel's right to exist" this fall, President Bush said today. He backed up his support for the "two-state solution" by reiterating a pledge of $190 million in aid to the Palestinians, the Times reports.

The president also committed $80 million to helping the Abbas government beef up security, backing up his support for the Fatah-led regime that controls the West Bank. He announced that Secretary of State Rice will chair the peace conference but wasn't specific about the guest list; the requirement that participants back Israel apparently excludes Iran and Syria. (Read more George W. Bush stories.)