Bush to Meet Iraqi Prime Minister
(VOA) - President Bush meets Tuesday at the White House with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The talks come at a time of ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq.
They will look for a way to secure Baghdad.
White House Spokesman Tony Snow said the security plan put into effect in Baghdad six weeks ago by the Maliki government has not produced results. He says the president and the prime minister will look at other ways to end the violence in the capital city. "We realize that he's got some real work ahead in securing Baghdad, and that needs to be done, and it needs to be done in a way that is going to provide stability in the city, so people can go about their daily affairs without the fear of terrorism," he said.
Snow told reporters the security situation in Baghdad remains a big problem, even though conditions are improving in other parts of the country. "There are parts of Iraq where life is proceeding with a fair degree of normalcy, where people are enjoying greater economic opportunity and they're enjoying the fruits of democracy. You've got a problem in Baghdad, and that is -- it's absolutely critical to address that," he said, reports Trend.
There are indications that one option under consideration is moving U.S. and Iraqi troops into Baghdad from other parts of the country. Snow refused to say if an announcement would come during Prime Minister Maliki's visit. But he did confirm the Iraqi leader has been consulting with General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
Mr. Maliki came to Washington from London, where he met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. While there, he confirmed a U.N. report that almost 100 civilians died in Iraq, on average, every day in May and June. Speaking to British radio, the Iraqi prime minister said militants trying to drag his country into a civil war must be stopped.
Here in Washington, congressional critics of the Bush administration say that civil war may already be under way. At a White House briefing, Snow said their comments may be prompted by election year politics in the United States.