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30.10.2008 Middle East

Bush to meet Israeli PM soon in Washington


U.S. President George W. Bush will meet outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the coming weeks in Washington, White House spokesman said Wednesday.

"President Bush spoke by phone with Prime Minister Olmert today. The two leaders look forward to meeting at some time in the coming weeks here in Washington," Gordon Johndroe said in a brief statement.

The meeting would be the last between the two leaders. Bush's presidential tenure is to be end in January, while Olmert would be in his post until his country holds an early election, which is expected to be held on February 10.

The early election, triggered by Olmert's resignation amid scandals, might make the Annapolis process derailed.

The process, launched at the U.S.-host conference last November in Annapolis, Maryland, is aimed at hammering out a comprehensive peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of 2008.

The Bush administration has pushed both Israel and the Palestinians on the process. The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, however, have made little substantial progress due to deep differences on sensitive issues.