Visiting U.S. President George W. Bush on Saturday expressed his confidence on the objective to achieve a Middle East peace deal before his term ends in January amid growing skepticism in the Arab world.
Bush made the remarks to reporters after a meeting with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he arrived earlier in the day to attend the opening session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East on Sunday.
U.S. President George W. Bush (R) and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speak to the press in Sharm El Sheikh, May 17, 2008.
He revealed to reporters that he will make it clear in his speech before the WEF opening session that a Palestinian state will be defined by the end of his presidency, expressing U.S. resolve to achieve that objective.
During his private meeting with Bush earlier in the day, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak asked the U.S. president to reassure Washington' commitment to the peace process and efforts to achieve the goal of a Palestinian state.
Bush faces criticism for not mentioning the Palestinian plight during his three-day visit to Israel, while expressing strong support to Israel in his speech at Israel's parliament on Thursday on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Jewish country.
The act aroused growing skepticism in the Arab world over Bush's ability to act as an even-handed broker between Israel and the Palestinians.