Q You talk about the U.S. government and the Iraqi government working closely together on benchmarks. I'm wondering, sir, why was Prime Minister Maliki not at the news conference yesterday with General Casey and Ambassador Khalilzad? Would that not have sent a strong message about there being a very close level of cooperation between the two governments?Friday 27th October 2006
THE PRESIDENT: Elaine, I have no idea why he wasn't there.
Q Was he invited, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I have no idea. I'm not the scheduler of news conferences. I do know they work very closely together, and they've got a very close working relationship, and that's important.
After a tense week in Iraqi-U.S. relations over the way forward, the U.S. ambassador and Iraqi prime minister issued a rare joint statement Friday in which Iraq reaffirmed its commitment to a "good and strong" relationship with the United States.Saturday 28th October 2006
President Bush has held talks by video link with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki.I wonder how Mr Maliki's arm feels today? A bit bruised perhaps? Maybe he's still not managed to get it untwisted?
The link-up follows several days of public disagreement between US and Iraqi officials, who blamed each other for Iraq's deepening crisis.
In a joint statement issued after the 50-minute video conference, the two leaders said they were "committed to the partnership" and would work in every way possible for a stable, democratic Iraq.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said there were no strains in the US-Iraq relationship.
I haven't actually seen either of the joint statements on the tellybox but I presume they both contained the caption:
Paid for by the Republican National CommitteeIn their defence, they Republicans did say they were going to export democracy to Iraq. What better way than to very generously allow Mr Maliki to be part of their mid-term election campaign team?
© 2006 Republican National Committee
Tags: News, Politics, Iraq, Republicons