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Saturday, 27 April, 2002, 01:44 GMT 02:44 UK
US mulls Saudi Mid-East plan
President Bush with the Saudi delegation
Saudis are frustrated by US support for Israel
The United States is considering an eight-point plan, which Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah has put forward to try and end the current Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The prince presented the proposal at a meeting with President George W Bush in Texas.

It calls for an Israeli pull-back from Ramallah and the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, among other measures.

A White House spokesman said the president believed the proposal contained ideas "that we can make progress on".

The Saudi plan also calls for the US to take a lead in implementing United Nations resolution 242, which calls for Israel to withdraw from land seized during the 1967 six-day war.

Complex relationship

Saudi Arabia is a traditional ally of the US but relations have been strained since the 11 September hijacks committed by mostly Saudi nationals.

Saudi plan
An Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian areas
An end to the Israeli siege of the West Bank town of Ramallah
Deployment of an international peacekeeping force
Reconstruction of damaged Palestinian areas
Renunciation of violence
Talks on a political settlement to Israeli-Palestinian issues
An end to Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas
The US has also wanted a clear denouncement from Riyadh of Palestinian suicide bombings, and the Saudis have been frustrated by American reluctance to take a firmer line with Israel.

Earlier, Mr Bush went some way towards making amends.

On the occupation of Ramallah, Mr Bush simply said: "It's time to end this".

But for the first time he used the word "now".

Saudi leaders have also opposed possible American strikes against Iraq, a country which Mr Bush has branded "part of an axis of evil".

Adel al-Jubeir, a senior adviser to the crown prince, told reporters that, at talks on Thursday, the Saudi leader had warned President Bush of the anger in the Arab world at US support for Israel.

He said the crown prince also warned the president of the danger that the continuing violence in the Middle East poses for America's interests in the Arab and Muslim world.

He said the crown prince had asked Mr Bush to do more to restrain Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The BBC's Steve Kingstone
"The meeting did produce some progress"
The BBC's Rob Watson
"The Saudis have been careful to play down any talk of a rift"
Senior adviser to the crown prince, Adel al-Jubeir
"Israeli agression is doing tremendous damage to American interests in the Middle East"
See also:

25 Apr 02 | Middle East
Analysis: Tough task for Saudi prince
25 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel rejects Palestinian 'trial'
16 Mar 02 | Middle East
Saudis press Cheney on Israel
12 Mar 02 | Americas
US freezes Saudi charity assets
28 Feb 02 | Middle East
Saudi looks to repair dented image
29 Jan 02 | Middle East
Saudi Arabia 'still friends' with US
23 Sep 01 | Middle East
Gulf states back US
26 Mar 02 | Middle East
Profile: Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah
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