Israeli Officials Deny Bush's Golan Offer

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli officials denied a Kuwaiti newspaper report alleging a secret offer by U.S. President George Bush that Israel would cede the Golan Heights to Syria if it severed ties with Iran.

According to Kuwait's al-Jarida paper, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered Bush's handwritten letter proposing "a quick and satisfactory" solution to the Golan issue.

"In the letter, Bush suggested finalizing the agreement within several weeks, before the U.S. presidential elections, in order to push the Middle East peace process, an achievement the president will be able to proudly present before leaving the White House in January," an unnamed Palestinian source told al-Jarida.

The Palestinian official claimed that neither Abbas nor the American envoy in Damascus was aware of the contents of the letter, but its delivery was the primary purpose of Abbas's visit to Damascus last week.

Sources: Haaretz, YNet news

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