Jerusalem -- President Bush told two high-ranking Palestinian officials that he had been told by God to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and then create a Palestinian state to bring peace to the Middle East, they recall during a documentary on Middle East peace that airs next week in Britain.

"President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God,' " said Nabil Shaath, who was the Palestinian foreign minister at the time of a top-level meeting with Bush in June 2003. Mahmoud Abbas, then Palestinian prime minister and now the Palestinian Authority president, was also present for the conversation with Bush.

"God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq ...' And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.' And by God I'm gonna do it," Shaath quotes the president as saying in the three-part series.

(White House press secretary Scott McClellan denied the report at his press briefing Thursday. "No, that's absurd. He's never made such comments," he said.

(McClellan said he was not personally in that meeting, but that he had been at similar meetings with world leaders when Bush talked about the reasons for his Mideast decisions.)

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