(2004-11-12) -- U.S. President George Bush today praised Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat for 'assuming a new attitude,' according to a White House spokesman.
'The president believes that Chairman Arafat's new attitude is one that bodes well for peace in the Middle East,' said spokesman Scott McClellan. 'Arafat's rhetoric has cooled in recent days.'
U.S. negotiators reportedly expect the Palestinian leader to put up less resistance to reasonable proposals, thanks to 'a new posture that is more grounded, stable, consistent.'
'Chairman Arafat seems to be taking an in-depth look at the land he has fought to defend,' Mr. McClellan said, 'and yet he's looking up to a promising future, where the grass is greener. President Bush has long believed that it's your attitude that determines your altitude, and Mr. Arafat has become a great illustration of that.'