The White House said on Wednesday the during his second visit to the region this year, which is expected to start next week, the U.S President Bush will try to make progress toward a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians but will not host any joint session with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
"This did not seem the time for a big, high-level, three-way event; it just doesn't feel right as the best way to advance the negotiation."
Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, told reporters. Hadley also said that Bush visit will only include Israel and not the Palestinian areas, the U.S President visit to Israel will be symbolic as the state is celebrating its 60th independence.
Bush during his Middle East tour next week is expected to visit Saudi Arabia and Egypt, media sources reported. As Israel this week marks its 60th year of independence, the Palestinians mark their 60th year of Nakba- catastrophe.
Bush will attend Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, but will not be attending any equivalent Palestinian commemoration of the Naqba-Catastrophe, in which Palestinians remember the creation of the state of Israel on their land in 1948, which resulted in the displacement of over 700,000 people from their homes, and the imprisonment of the rest into refugee enclaves in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
While Bush seems unwilling to move ahead with any meeting that would move the peace process forward, he is unwilling to make any statement criticizing Israel for going back on every one of the commitments the state made during previous peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Bush has not commented on the Israeli settlement expansion on Palestinian land, or the ongoing daily military assaults on Palestinian civilians.