George W. Bush has arrived in Israel for his first trip to the Middle East as US President. The Israeli President Shimon Peres, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, were at Ben Gurion airport to greet him, along with senior religious leaders.
Bush’s trip was planned back in November to be a salute to progress in the peace talks.
But those talks, launched in Annapolis, are now all but stalled.
Israel has budgeted to build more Israeli homes in the West Bank, something forbidden under the so-called “road map”.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded George Bush take a firm stand on the matter during his visit, or risk failure before the talks have really begun.