It seems to have been a good meeting yesterday in the White House as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas came to visit.
There is unlikely to have been uniformity of views on everything, but it was clear that President Bush was keen to express as strong a support as possible to the democratic transformation under way in Palestina and to the efforts to prepare for a proper peace process with Palestine.
Divergencies were there in public on the question of Hamas, but more informally it’s obvious that Washington doesn’t really see much of an alternative to the policies pursued on the issue by Mahmoud Abbas.
It’s a question of drawing Hamas into a political process – and then defeating them there.
A good meeting. Hopefully it created a bit of a new momentum. But much will depend on the Palestinian parliamentary elections and the way the Gaza withdrawal is carried out.