Welch: ME conference part of Saudi initiative

US President George Bush would not have initiated an international Middle East peace conference had he thought that the countries in the region were willing to advance the peace process by themselves, Israel Radio quoted US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch as saying Tuesday morning. Welch said the proposal for the conference was part of the Saudi peace initiative. He added that the US wanted to see if Saudi Arabia and other partners in the initiative were committed to the peace process.