US President George W. Bush's second trip to the Mideast this year, designed in part to make progress toward a peace deal before the end of his presidency, will not see him hosting a joint session with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the White House said.
"This did not seem the time for a big, high-level, three-way event," Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, told reporters on Wednesday. "It just doesn't feel right as the best way to advance the negotiation."
The primary purpose of the president's five-day trip to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, a follow-up to his trip to the same three countries and others in the region in January, is ceremonial. He is marking the 60th anniversary of Israel's occupation and 75 years of US relations with Saudi Arabia.
Bush also has plenty of official business on his plate. He delivers speeches before the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and at the World Economic Forum in the Middle East, a gathering of hundreds of global policymakers and business leaders being held in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt.
Also while in the Red Sea resort for two days, Bush is meeting with a string of leaders key to US goals in the region.
Last Mod: 08 Mayıs 2008, 17:13