April 21, 2008 / 2:29 PM / in 10 years

Bush to meet Jordan's Abdullah on peace talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush, who is pressing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before he leaves office, will meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Wednesday to discuss those efforts on the eve of a visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House.

President George W. Bush walks across the South Lawn to board Marine One at the White House in Washington April 21, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young

“The president looks forward to discussing with the king bilateral U.S.-Jordanian relations, efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the situation in Lebanon, and other regional issues,” a White House statement said on Monday.

Bush is pressing for a Mideast peace deal before he leaves office in January, and plans to visit Israel in May after his first trip to Jerusalem as president earlier this year.

Abbas, who is scheduled to meet Bush at the White House on Thursday, said he would consult with the U.S. president on ways to advance peace talks so that a deal with Israel could be reached by the end of the year.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who met with leaders of Hamas, said the group that controls the Gaza Strip would not undermine Abbas’ efforts to negotiate and would accept a deal if it were supported by Palestinians in a vote.

Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Doina Chiacu

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