Statement of U.S. President George W. Bush
to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
April 11, 2005, in Crawford, Texas
PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to my home….The United States and the state of Israel have a deep and lasting friendship based on our shared values and aspirations for a peaceful world. The United States is committed to Israel’s security and well being as a Jewish state, including secure and defensible borders. We’re committed to preserving and strengthening Israel’s capability to deter its enemies and to defend itself….
As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders. These should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. As I said last April, new realities on the ground make it unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will be achieved only on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities. That’s the American view. While the United States will not prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations, those changes on the ground, including existing major Israeli population centers, must be taken into account in any final status negotiations.