Abbas, Bush to hold 'farewell' meeting

Poll: 64% believe PA president's term should end now, 40% of Gazans wish to leave, 25% in W. Bank.

Abbas nazi 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Abbas nazi 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will travel to Washington for a "farewell" meeting with President George W. Bush, a Palestinian official said Friday, as impending leadership changes raise questions about the future of peace talks. The Palestinian leader will meet Bush at the White House on Dec. 19, Abbas aide Saeb Erekat said. The two will discuss peace negotiations with Israel, he said, but "it will also be a farewell meeting between the two men." Meanwhile, a new poll showed Thursday that most Palestinians believe their Abbas's term should end in a matter of weeks, indicating that support for him could erode if he stays on after a Jan. 9 deadline. Abbas has said that Palestinian law gives him until early 2010. His Hamas rivals reject that claim. The poll showed 64 percent believe the Abbas's term should end now. Only 24 percent believe he has another year. The poll was released by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Pollsters surveyed 1270 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The margin of error was three percentage points. The poll also shows that 40 percent of Gazans wish to emigrate, compared to 25 percent in the West Bank. It also showed that 74% support continuing the cease-fire between Israel and Gaza factions.