|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 11, 2008
President Bush Departs Israel
Ben Gurion International Airport
1:27 P.M. (Local)
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. President, thanks, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your graciousness. I had a very emotional day today in your country, and I want to thank you for your hospitality. Today capped off what has been a very positive visit. Now I'm off to the countries in your neighborhood. I'll be carrying with me a message of optimism about the possibilities of a peace treaty. I'll share with them my thoughts about you and President Abbas and your determination to work to see whether or not it's possible to come up with a peace treaty that will be lasting.
I'm also going to call upon the leaders to support Israel in its efforts, and the Palestinians in their efforts to bring peace to the Holy Land.
Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. President, thank you very much for the invitation to come back to the Middle East. I intend to accept your invitation -- I'm accepting it now, to come back to help the peace process move forward, but also to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary of its independence and birth, and I'm looking forward to doing that.
In the meantime, of course, I'll be in touch with you, sir. Condi Rice will be traveling back and forth as need be. It's a good chance for peace and they want to help you. I want to thank you very much again. I appreciate not only your hospitality, but the hospitality of President Abbas, as well. Good luck to you. Thanks for your friendship. Mr. President, thank you, sir. It's my honor. Thank you all.
END 1:28 P.M. (Local)