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Bush to Assess Iraqi Prospects With Eye to Withdrawal

  • VOA News

President Bush says a review next week of the new Iraqi government's strategy will help determine when U.S. troops might be able to leave Iraq.

Mr. Bush said the talks with U.S. national security advisers and military commanders will focus on analyzing what Baghdad's "blueprint for the future will look like." The president said the meeting was planned before the killing this week of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Mr. Bush spoke on Friday during a break in talks with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen at Camp David, the presidential retreat outside Washington.

Reporters asked Mr. Bush about the standoff with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. He said Tehran has weeks, not months, to respond to a U.S. and European offer aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear activities.

The Danish leader said the two also talked about the abuses at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and what he termed reports of "unacceptable" events. That's a reference to allegations of Marines killing unarmed civilians in Haditha and other Iraqi towns. Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said such events are not only a tragedy for the victims, but an offense to both nations' values.

President Bush noted that alleged abuses by U.S. forces are investigated and wrongdoings are punished. He contrasted such actions to those of terrorists, who, he noted, kill civilians as a matter of policy.

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