President Makes Suprise Visit To Iraq

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

President Bush is on a surprise trip to Baghdad to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAH'-lih-kee).

The visit was even a surprise to the Iraqi leader, who learned he would be hosting Bush five minutes before they met.

When they met, Al-Maliki told Bush "Good to see you." Bush responded, "Thanks for having me." The men smiled broadly and gave each other a two-handed handshake in a palace in the heavily fortified Green Zone.

Bush is expected to be in Baghdad a little more than five hours.

Only a small number of aides and reporters knew about Bush's trip in advance, to limit the security risk.

It's the president's second trip to Baghdad in less than three years. He visited American troops on Thanksgiving 2003.

White House officials say he wanted to meet the prime minister face-to-face to size him up and show the U-S is behind him.


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