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Bush, Musharraf Discuss War on Terror, Palestinian State

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2004 – President Bush said he looks forward to working with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf in the global war on terror and in many other international arenas.

Bush spoke to the media following a Dec. 4 meeting with Musharraf at the White House. He said the United States and Pakistan have good relations, and he praised the Pakistani leader for his leadership in a deadly serious battle on terrorists. Bush praised Pakistan for its efforts to fight al Qaeda terrorists in Waziristan a section of Pakistan that borders Afghanistan.

The Pakistani army has taken casualties in the fight to deny the terror group a safe haven, Bush noted. "(Musharraf) has been a determined leader to bring to justice not only people like Osama bin Laden, but to bring to justice those who would inflict harm and pain his own people," Bush said.

Bush reminded reporters that there have been two attempts on Musharraf's life in the last year. "I am very pleased with his efforts, in his focused efforts and our discussions today," Bush said. "We'll determine how best we can help the president achieve his objective, and which is not only protecting himself but protect his country."

Musharraf told Bush that working toward peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict is very important to Muslims. Bush said there is an opportunity to work toward the development of a Palestinian state and peace in the Middle East.

"I told him that this will be a priority of my administration," he said. "The goal is two states living side by side in peace and security."

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