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Iraqi President To Meet Bush In White House

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.


For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq"

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