Bush acknowledges 'tough times' for US and Middle East | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Bush acknowledges 'tough times' for US and Middle East

PTI | ByAssociated Press, Cairo
May 11, 2004 03:48 PM IST

US President George W. Bush acknowledged that "times are tough for the United States and the Middle East," and again apologised for the conduct of US Soldiers in Iraq, saying the word "sorry" six times in a 38-minute interview published last night.

US President George W. Bush acknowledged that "times are tough for the United States and the Middle East," and again apologised for the conduct of US Soldiers in Iraq, saying the word "sorry" six times in a 38-minute interview published last night.

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Bush also backed off of the "road map" peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, saying that keeping the promise of a Palestinian state by 2005 "may be hard." He did not give a new timetable.

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The editors of Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper who conducted the interview didn't ask about the future of Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, whom critics have called upon to resign for his handling of the prisoner-abuse scandal.

Bush mentioned Rumsfeld only once in the interview, speaking of "our Secretary of Defence, in whom I've got confidence and believe in." He noted Rumsfeld planned to testify yesterday before Congress.

The interview was conducted on Thursday, the same day Bush for the first time apologised for the conduct of US troops in Iraq who humiliated prisoners in their charge. The issue has created furore throughout the Middle East, leading Bush to grant interviews to Arab news media in an attempt to repair the damage.

Bush didn't apologize in two television interviews Wednesday, but he made up for it in the Al-Ahram interview, saying the word "sorry" six times.

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!

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