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Olmert: Bush Offered To Absorb 100,000 Palestinian Refugees

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that the Bush administration had assured him that the United States would be willing to absorb some 100,000 Palestinian refugees immediately as American citizens, should Israel reach a permanent settlement with the Palestinian Authority.

The former premier told a Geneva Initiative conference in Tel Aviv that during negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 he had offered a solution to the refugee problem that would have been in line with the Arab League peace plan and promised that any measures would be the result of a coordinated agreement.

The Bush administration had offered this American contribution to the refugee problem as part of what would be a framework of international compensation, he said.

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