Bush to Iraqi PM: You are not a puppet

US president, al-Maliki hold video conference, outline joint security goals.

October 28, 2006 17:14
2 minute read.
Bush to Iraqi PM: You are not a puppet

al-maliki 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

President George W. Bush on Saturday reaffirmed his support for Iraq's prime minister, telling Nouri al-Maliki that he is not "America's man in Iraq" but a sovereign leader whom the US is aiding. Playing down tensions over a US plan for benchmarks toward reducing the violence, the leaders said they were "committed to the partnership" and would work "in every way possible for a stable, democratic Iraq and for victory in the war on terror." In a statement after a 50-minute video conference, Bush and al-Maliki outlined three goals: speeding up the training of Iraq's security forces; moving ahead with Iraqi control of its forces; and making the Iraqi government responsible for the country's security. A special group of high-level Iraqi ministers will work with the top US commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, and the US ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, to recommend how best to achieve those goals. "As leaders of two great countries, we are committed to the security and prosperity of a democratic Iraq and the global fight against terrorism which affects all our citizens," according to the joint statement from Bush and al-Maliki. During the video hookup, al-Maliki told Bush, "History will record that because of your efforts, Iraq is a free country," according to White House press secretary Tony Snow. "What you've got in Maliki is a guy who is making decisions," Snow said after the session. "He's making tough decisions, and he's showing toughness and he's also showing political skill in dealing with varying factions within his own country. And both leaders understand the political pressures going on," Snow said. Al-Maliki was quoted by a close aide as having told the US ambassador to Iraq on Friday, "I am a friend of the United States, but I am not America's man in Iraq." In response, Snow told reporters, "He's not America's man in Iraq. The United States is there in a role to assist him. He's the prime minister -he's the leader of the Iraqi people. He is, in fact, the sovereign leader of Iraq." Al-Maliki squabbled with the Bush administration this week over his objections to a timeline proposed by Washington for bringing security to Iraq. "There are no strains in the relationship," Snow said. "In this prime minister, you have somebody in the Iraqi government who wants to take charge, who wants to take responsibility, is working on all fronts, on the economic side, on the security side, and on the political reconciliation side," the spokesman said. "And he believes it's important to do whatever he can to build greater faith and trust with the Iraqi people in the democracy. So the president's very happy actually with the way the prime minister is working."

Related Content

Rashida Tlaib on interview about Arab-Israeli Conflict (August 13, 2018).
August 17, 2018
J Street cancels endorsement from House candidate for 'one state solution'