George Bush gave a lengthy interview to the Italian newspaper Repubblica before his visit to Moscow. The Mideast issue was one of the topics of the interview: ways to settle, relations with Arafat, etc.
Bush said that the Palestinian leader had lost all chances of signing a peace treaty with Israel and to convince the American administration that “the perspective state of Palestine” could peacefully co-exist with its Jewish neighbor. In addition, the American president said that he has never respected Arafat, because he (Arafat) has betrayed his own nation. Bush claimed that the role of a leader is to lead people forward, not to drag them into a swamp.
Washington does not have any objections regarding the peace conference in the Middle East, upon which Saudi Arabia insists. The president said that all parties must make a decision concerning the conference; the USA will assist in the realization of the initiative. Israel has to make a hard decision pertaining to the existence of the Palestinian state, and the Palestinians must reject terrorist methods in their struggle. Arab countries should take part in the establishment of the Palestinian state. This process can be started by setting up a security management, which will work for the welfare of Palestinians, deal with anti-terrorist issues, and suppress any demonstrations of extremism.
George Bush believes that the peace in the Middle East is possible only after Arafat runs fundamental reforms within his administration. Americans always have the trump card: money or financial help. Bush stated that Palestine was asking for a lot of money and that the USA was ready to help, but only after it is proved that the American money will be spent on the needs of Palestinian people.
The scheme of financial pressure is immaculate: if you do not obey, we will shut down all financial help. However, it seems that Bush forgets the fact that it is not the USA that renders major financial aid to Palestine, but Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and others.
The financial relations between the USA and Israel are a completely different matter: everything is quiet. The Israelis count every single cent assigned by the US Treasury.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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