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White House to Convene Mideast Talks


It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Steve Inskeep is away. I'm John Ydstie.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Bush went to Camp David yesterday, where he's scheduled to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. He'll also have time to prepare for the Middle East peace conference he plans to host next week in Annapolis, Maryland.

Details of the meeting are still being worked out, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

BRIAN NAYLOR: The president spoke by phone with two world leaders yesterday, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah and Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to a White House statement, Mr. Bush and the Saudi king shared their views of the process underway between the Israelis, Palestinians and the international community. But it remains unclear whether Saudi Arabia will be taking part in the conference. It's also unclear what the president's exact role will be, as his administration turns its attention to the issue in a way it has not in the past seven years.

Mr. Bush kicked off his holiday by honoring what's become a 60-year tradition at the White House - the pardoning of a turkey. The Rose Garden ceremony featured lots of photogenic children and a big white-feathered gobbler who upstaged the president as he was giving thanks for the sacrifices of U.S. service members.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: And so on this Thanksgiving...

(Soundbite turkey)

President BUSH: ...we keep our - we keep their families and their loved ones in our prayers and in our thoughts.

(Soundbite turkey)

(Soundbite of laughter)

Pres. BUSH: Thank you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

NAYLOR: And as the president flew off to Camp David, the turkey was flown to Florida to be the grand marshal of a Thanksgiving Day parade.

Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.