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Bush to meet Iraq's Maliki in Jordan

Written by: Staff
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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, Nov 22 (Reuters) US President George W Bush will hold a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Jordan next week, the White House said today.

Amid rising sectarian violence in Iraq, Bush will fly to Amman following the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia for talks on November.

29-30 with the Iraqi leader to focus on ''building security and stability in Iraq,'' White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters.

''We will focus our discussions on current developments in Iraq, progress made to date in the deliberations of a high level joint committee on transferring security responsibility and the role of the region in supporting Iraq,'' Snow said, reading from a joint US-Iraqi statement as Bush flew back to Washington from a trip to Asia.

The chaos in Iraq has put mounting pressure on both Bush and Maliki to try to find a way to stem killings.

Discontent over Iraq was a top issue in US elections earlier this month that ousted Bush's Republican Party from power in Congress in a sharp rebuke to the president.

Allies have been urging Bush to talk about Iraq to his adversaries in Iran and Syria, but Washington has so far reacted warily to that idea.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is due to visit Tehran this weekend for a summit with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On a visit to Baghdad, Syria's foreign minister signed an accord restoring full diplomatic relations with Iraq following a 24-year rift.

REUTERS DKS PM0640

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