U.S. President George W. Bush said on Thursday that he wants Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to stay in office despite the parliamentary election victory of radical group Hamas.
"We'd like him to stay in power. I mean, we'd (like) him to stay in office. He is in power. We'd like him to stay in office," Bush said at a White House press conference.
Earlier on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Abbas that Washington supports him and his policies, according to Palestinian Presidency spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah.
Abu Rudeinah said that Rice "asserted to Abbas that the U.S. administration will continue supporting the elected president ( Abbas) and his policies."