Bush and Rabin hope to start healing process
Officials were optimistic that the two leaders, holding their first summit since Mr Rabin defeated the former prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, in elections, would reach agreement by today on a new dollars 10bn ( pounds 5.2bn) US loan guarantee to help Israel absorb the latest influx of Jewish immigrants.
Relations between the two countries became especially strained during the last year of Mr Shamir's leadership, when his refusal to halt new settlements in Israeli-occupied Arab territories prompted the US to freeze further loan guarantees to his government. The dispute angered many US Jews, whose support Mr Bush wants back before the November election.
The tensions have eased since the arrival in office of Mr Rabin, who has ended the building of most new settlements and signalled his willingness to cede territory for peace. The US will also welcome moves by Mr Rabin's government to lift laws banning all contact between Israeli residents and members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
'The welcome mat is out,' Mr Bush said standing alongside Mr Rabin before the start of the talks. 'Prime Minister Rabin has many friends in the United States, including the man standing beside him.'
Mr Rabin also underlined his government's commitment to making progress in the Middle East Peace Conference, which will resume in Washington on 24 August. 'We would like to give a chance to the peace negotiations,' he said, adding: 'We would like to change the order in our national priorities.'
The setting of the talks at Mr Bush's summer retreat in Maine is meant to be symbolic of the new relaxed atmosphere between the two countries. Mr Rabin last night became one of a select group of leaders to spend the night at the Kennebunkport house with the Bush family.
JERUSALEM - Israeli ministers accused Jewish settlers yesterday of trying to sabotage the summit between Mr Rabin and Mr Bush by defying a building freeze in occupied land, Reuter reports. The settlers, who tried to expand a settlement near Hebron on Sunday and took over houses in Jerusalem's Muslim quarter, vowed to continue moving Jews to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Arab east Jerusalem.
Leading article, page 14
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Tube strike July 2015: Is it still on? Everything you need to know about the industrial action
Eiji Tsuburaya: Godzilla co-creator honoured in today's interactive Google Doodle
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...