Bush, Iraqi PM to meet next week in Jordan

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November 22, 2006 03:28
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US President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will meet next week in Jordan to discuss the security situation in Iraq. In a joint statement, the two leaders said: "We will meet in Amman, Jordan, on Nov. 29-30 to continue our consultation on building security and stability in Iraq." Press secretary Tony Snow distributed the statement to reporters returning home with Bush on Tuesday from an eight-day Asia trip. Bush will fly directly to Amman from the NATO summit in Rega, Latvia. "We will focus our discussions on current developments in Iraq, progress made to date in the deliberations of a high-level joint committee on transferring security responsibilities and the role of the region in supporting Iraq," the statement said. "We reiterate our commitment to building the foundations of a peaceful, democratic and secure Iraq and to strengthening the partnership between our two nations," the statement said. The two leaders also said they look forward to meeting Jordan's King Abdullah II. Bush and al-Maliki last met July 25 in Washington. National security adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters that when the two leaders meet in Jordan, "We're not looking for a big, bold announcement." The meeting will allow a joint commission established to examine how to speed up the transition from coalition to Iraqi security forces to report to Bush and al-Maliki, Hadley said. "It will also be an opportunity for the president and the prime minister to review the situation in Iraq more generally and talk about the way forward in order to accomplish ... move toward our objectives in an expeditious way," he said. The idea for a meeting came up a week or more ago, and plans accelerated in the last few days, Hadley said.

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