President Bush says his visit to Iraq was "inspiring," and that the American people must be patient as U.S. troops stay in Iraq to support the new government and help fight the insurgency.
In a news conference at the White House Wednesday, Mr. Bush said the violence in Iraq may never be completely eliminated. He said, however, American troops will help give Baghdad the confidence it needs as it builds a new democratic country.
Mr. Bush also held a meeting with lawmakers at the White House, which included a discussion of whether to set a timetable for the withdraw of American troops.
Opposition Democrats have disagreed on the issue, with some prominent party members, including Senator Hillary Clinton, saying they are opposed to setting a particular date for American withdraw from Iraq.
Other Democrats, however, have called for the Bush administration to provide a timetable for withdraw of American troops.
Following Mr. Bush's meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, said her party is united in calling for the president to set a new direction in Iraq.
Ms. Pelosi said Democrats agree that 2006 must be a significant year of transition in Iraq, where the Iraqi people take responsibility for their government and their nation's security. She also called on Mr. Bush to provide a plan that includes concrete steps for the withdraw of American troops from the war-torn country.