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Bush pledges to work with Europe on Mideast peace
Updated: 2004-11-13 01:14

President Bush said on Friday he saw a "great chance" of achieving an independent Palestinian state and pledged to work with European leaders toward that goal.

In a joint news conference at the White House with British Prime Minister Tony Blair , Bush offered his condolences to Palestinians on the death of their veteran leader, Yasser Arafat.

"Our sympathies are with the Palestinian people as they begin a period of mourning," Bush said. But he said there is now a fresh opportunity for work toward a lasting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

"I believe we've got a great chance to establish a Palestinian state and I'm prepared over the next four years to spend the capital of the United States to establish such a state," Bush said.

He said he planned to visit Europe as soon as possible after his inauguration in January to discuss this and other issues.

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