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'Right time' to pursue Mid-East peace: Bush

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United States President George W Bush says it is the "right time" for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but has admitted the road would be difficult as he readied to open a major international gathering.

"In light of recent developments, some have suggested that now is not the right time to pursue peace. I disagree," he said, according to remarks prepared for delivery.

"I believe that now is precisely the right time to begin these negotiations, for a number of reasons."

But he noted, "Achieving this goal will not be easy - if it were easy, it would have happened a long time ago."

"Today, Palestinians and Israelis each understand that helping the other to realise their aspirations is the key to realising their own - and both require an independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state.

"Such a state will provide Palestinians with the chance to lead lives of freedom, purpose and dignity, and such a state will help provide Israelis with something they have been seeking for generations - to live in peace with their neighbours." © 2007 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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