( dpa ) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Thursday for the creation of a Palestinian state by the end of US President George W Bush's term in office.
"We would like to end these peace negotiations during your term in office," Abbas told a joint news conference in Ramallah with Bush, on the first visit of a US President to the central West Bank city.
"We are starting with you a new year, hoping that this will be the year of the creation of peace," Abbas said.
Praising Bush for his commitment to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, he said: "it's a historic visit that gives our people great hope."
"The conferences of Annapolis and Paris were a historic step from you and the American people and the world as a whole," he said.
Pledging to implement his security obligations under the revived 2003 "road map" peace plan, Abbas also called for an end to Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank and the removal of Israeli military checkpoints there.
"I would like to point out here that we instructed our government to continue the work toward enhancing security" and carry out reforms, Abbas said.