Monday, September 3, 2007

President Bush Visits Iraq

President Bush arrived at Asad air base in Anbar province Monday to meet with top military commanders, the U.S. ambassador, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and provincial tribal leaders:

The president stopped in Iraq en route to an economic summit in Australia and ahead of a briefing in Washington September 15 by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker.

The president was spirited out of the White House late Sunday and driven to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. Sixteen hours before he was scheduled to leave for the summit, Bush boarded Air Force One as it sat in a hanger and the aircraft departed after dark.

This is the President's third visit to Iraq. He also went to Iraq at Thanksgiving 2003 and in June 2006.

According to Reuters President Bush is accompanied by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Steven Hadley, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates:

The President's visit to Anbar province can only highlight the remarkable success of U.S. efforts in Iraq's largest province. Only a year ago Anbar was seen as a lost cause.

The Washington Post reports National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said President felt he had to make this visit "in order to put himself in a position to make some important decisions."

President Bush plans to eat dinner with U.S. troops.

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