President George W. Bush, taking on a more personal role in the Middle East conflict, is offering new financial support to embattled PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' government.
Bush planned to speak Monday afternoon at the White House about US financial and diplomatic support for Abbas, administration officials said. Abbas controls just the West Bank after the Hamas gained authority in Gaza in June.
"The president sees there is an opportunity there now to show the Palestinian people a choice between the kind of violence and chaos under Hamas in Gaza and the prospect, under President Abbas and Prime Minister (Sallam) Fayad, for an effective, democratic Palestinian state that can be on the way toward what we all want, which is a two-state solution - a Palestinian homeland for the Palestinian people," national security adviser Stephen Hadley said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."
Hadley did not elaborate about the type of financial assistance Bush planned to discuss. But a senior administration official said Hadley was signaling that the president would announce aid above the $86 million that the White House already has requested from Congress. That money was to help provide security for Abbas.