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Bush to Make First Public Appearance During Week of Diplomatic Talks


President Bush is making his first public appearance of the week Thursday amidst a private lobbying effort to pass a new U.N. resolution on Iraq. Mr. Bush has been in constant contact with the co-sponsors of the measure, the Prime Ministers of Britain and Spain.

The president will interrupt his almost non-stop telephone diplomacy to attend St. Patrick's Day ceremonies in Washington.

Aides say he called seven foreign heads of state or government on Wednesday. They included the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Pakistan, Russia, and Lithuania. Late in the day Mr. Bush conferred again with the prime ministers of Spain and Britain, part of ongoing consultations on the U.N. resolution.

Britain has suggested a set of conditions for disarmament that could be added to the resolution in an effort to make it more palatable to Security Council members. White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters the president appreciates the ideas, but would not comment on specifics.

"It is never in the interest of someone who seeks a positive outcome to do the negotiating in public," he said.

Technically, it takes nine votes on the 15 member council to pass a resolution. However, two of the five permanent members, France and Russia, are warning they could vote "no" and kill the measure.

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