US President George W. Bush sought to boost the flagging Mideast peace process Thursday by voicing fresh optimism about the creation of a Palestinian state. He said he remained confident that the definition of a state for the Palestinian people would be reached before he leaves office in January.
"I believe it's in Israel's interests and the Palestinian people's interest to have leaders willing to work toward the achievement of that state," Bush said at the White House with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"People that can deliver that state, that vision, for the Palestinian people are sitting right here in the Oval Office - led by the president," Bush said.
Bush spoke as his own administration acknowledged that talks have bogged down five months after both sides pledged to reach a deal by January.