- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2001

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. President Bush urged Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today to bring an end to suicide bombings and other needless violence in the Middle East.

Mr. Bush also called on Israel to show restraint and said he is confident the leadership on both sides can prevent a wider conflict in the region.

“The most important thing is that everyone realize that peace is preferable to war,'' Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Bush said the United States is not only engaged in urgent conversations with the Palestinians and Israelis but also is talking to Israel's neighbors and others able to influence decisions throughout the Middle East.

The president said Mr. Arafat must do everything possible to stop the violence by Palestinians and “the Israelis must show restraint in their response.''

He discussed the Middle East immediately after reading a children's book to a second-grade class at Griegos Elementary School in a largely Hispanic Albuquerque neighborhood.

At the school, Mr. Bush renewed his call to improve education for all children, outlining his plan to hold schools accountable through testing.

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