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Bush: Olmert's Plan to Re-Draw Israel's Borders Could Lead to Two-State Solution


President Bush says Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan to re-draw the Jewish state's borders if the Israeli-Palestinian peace process remains stalled could lead to a two-state solution.

Mr. Bush, speaking in a joint press conference with Mr. Olmert at the White House, said he looks forward to learning more about the prime minister's plan.

Mr. Olmert said he extends his hand in peace to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But he said if there is no progress in peace talks with the Palestinians, Israel may be compelled to re-draw its borders.

President Bush also said he and Mr. Olmert have a common goal that Iran should not have a nuclear weapon. He said the U.S. will come to Israel's aid of if there is an attack on the Jewish nation.

Earlier Tuesday, the two leaders met in their first talks since Mr. Olmert took office this month.

During the press conference, both men also urged the Islamic militant group Hamas, which now heads the Palestinian government, to recognize Israel's right to exist.

Mr. Olmert met with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before his talks with Mr. Bush. He will address a joint meeting of both houses of the U.S. Congress today-Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would cut off all aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government and declare the Palestinian Authority a terrorist sanctuary.

A presidential spokesman Tony Snow reiterated White House opposition to the bill. He said it unnecessarily constrains the flow of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

The United States and other Western nations have already frozen aid to the Hamas-led government because it refuses to condemn violence and recognize Israel.

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