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Thursday, April 10, 2008

What, Bush won't visit Sderot?

Sharm el Sheikh Summits do not have a good record, do they?
Article says:
"Organizers of Bush's planned two-and-a-half-day stay said they had been searching for a symbolic location for the president to visit, but wanted to avoid one that might stir controversy like the Western Wall, Golan Heights or Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron"
Sbarro's pizzeria, Mike's Cafe, Sderot, and the fuel terminal at Nir Oz are some good choices.
Ami Isseroff
 Last update - 05:37 10/04/2008       
Bush likely to make symbolic visit to Masada, avoiding contentious sites
By Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondent
U.S. President George W. Bush is likely to visit Masada during his trip to Israel next month for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, U.S. sources said on Wednesday.
Organizers of Bush's planned two-and-a-half-day stay said they had been searching for a symbolic location for the president to visit, but wanted to avoid one that might stir controversy like the Western Wall, Golan Heights or Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
Bush, accompanied by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, would visit the ancient mountaintop fortress where Jewish rebels made their last stand against Roman legionnaires.
During his stay, Bush will address the Knesset and give a speech detailing the history of U.S.-Israeli relations and his vision of its future.
White House staff said they were interested in organizing a meeting between Bush, his wife Laura and a group of recent immigrants to Israel.
Bush will hold meetings with Olmert, President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He will take part in a conference organized by Peres that will include presidents and heads of state from around the world.
U.S. sources added, however, that the itinerary is in its initial stages and could change.
"A lot depends on security arrangements," one of them said.
Officials from the Prime Minister's Office, President's Residence, Foreign Ministry and the White House met last week to discuss the visit.
The team from the Prime Minister's Office will be headed by Amnon Ben-Ami, who led the team organizing Bush's previous visit.
Over the next few weeks, Israeli and U.S. preparations will focus on meticulous security arrangements that will involve thousands of police officers.
Olmert not invited to Sharm summit, despite contrary reports
Olmert has not been invited to a regional summit at the Sinai resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, contradicting reports he would participate in the event.
Former Meretz leader Yossi Beilin on Monday said at a press conference promoting the Geneva Initiative that Olmert would attend the Sharm conference.
However, U.S. sources said on Wednesday that the summit would be attended by U.S. President George Bush, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah, and is intended as a U.S.-Arab meeting.
Bush, who does not intend to visit the Palestinian Authority during his Middle East visit, will meet Abbas in Egypt and host him in Washington a few days before his departure.
The United States is keen on holding a summit at the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to coincide with Bush's visit to Israel next month for the country's 60th anniversary celebrations.
Bush would like to use the event as a way station in the diplomatic process, following November's Annapolis conference, so as to provide another boost to efforts to reach an agreement by the end of the year over the core issues for a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

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