President Talabani (file photo)
13 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush is scheduled to meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani today at the White House for talks expected to focus on efforts to pass the war-torn country's draft constitution.
The meeting comes as Iraq is preparing for a 15 October public referendum
on the constitution, which has been strongly criticized by a number of Sunni leaders.
In Iraq, U.S.-backed Iraqi troops on 12 September continued efforts to take control of Tal Afar.
U.S. and Iraqi officials say the town near the Syrian border has been a staging post for foreign fighters from Syria.
On 12 September, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar al-Zebari reiterated accusations that Syria is allowing insurgents to penetrate Iraq from its territory, and said its neighbor is playing a "dangerous game."Zalmay Khalilzad
, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, said U.S. "patience is running out with Syria" and that "all options are on the table."
Syria has denied the accusations in the past.
(Reuters/AFP/AP)For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq"